March 27, 2023
Providers | Tea Leaves
  • The American Hospital Association (AHA) is pushing back against the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) report to congress on hospital finances. Earlier this month, MedPAC advised lawmakers to adopt a modest 2024 Medicare reimbursement bump (1 percent increase over market basket) for most hospitals, saying that hospitals’ prior pandemic relief funding and strong investment returns have blunted much of their losses during 2022. The AHA points out “limitations” in the cost reports MedPAC used for its recommendations because those reports are submitted by hospitals after the close of their own specific fiscal years and, therefore, “don’t necessarily provide a fully accurate picture of the financial reality in 2021.” (Articles here and here)
  • Health care employment has roughly returned to where it was in February 2020 after hospitals and health systems were burdened by labor shortages for the past three years due to burnout from the pandemic. While hospital employment has mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels and ambulatory care employment has grown by nearly 5.6 percent, nursing and residential care employment is still more than 270,000 jobs below the level of three years ago. (Article here; Report here)