Ben Franklin on U.S. currency wearing a mask Hospital employment is down approximately 100,000 from pre-pandemic levels, while hospital labor expenses per patient through 2021 were more than 19% higher than pre-pandemic levels. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A new report from the American Hospital Association highlights the financial and operational toll the pandemic and inflation has taken on hospitals — concluding that more than one-third are operating on negative margins.

"Hospitals and health systems have been nimble in responding to surges in COVID-19 cases throughout the pandemic by expanding treatment capacity, hiring staff to meet demand, acquiring and maintaining adequate supplies and personal protective equipment to protect patients and staff, and ensuring that critical services and programs remain available to the patients and communities they serve," notes the nine-page report released this month. "However, these and other factors have led to billions of dollars in losses over the last two years for hospitals."

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