With labor costs rising, decreased demand, and supply chain issues cropping up across the board, health systems faced financial difficulties in the past year. This is expected to get more pronounced over the coming years, despite consumer inflation outpacing inflation in healthcare prices. Changes in patient usage are further contributing to cost increases.
According to Jakob Emerson and Molly Gamble, “While demand for routine care is lower than pre-pandemic levels, some other types of care are rebounding after delays brought by COVID-19. UnitedHealth on June 15 reported increased demand from patients in Medicare health plans, particularly related to knee and hip surgeries. The pattern is driving up costs for the insurer, it said. The comments resulted in a sharp drop to health insurer stocks.”
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(Source: Becker’s CFO Report, June 14th, 2023)