WSHA held a media briefing Tuesday, Oct. 4, providing the results of our second quarter financial survey for 2022. Through our survey, we found that hospital and health system losses grew to $1.7 billion through the first six months of 2022, with a $1.2 billion operations shortfall. This survey represents every hospital system in the state, as well as 97 percent of our state’s inpatient beds. We expect this trend to continue in the second half of this year.
Low Medicaid reimbursement, high inflation, labor shortages, increased cost for staff recruitment and retention, complex patient needs, difficult-to-discharge patients and depletion of federal funds continue to drive this financial shortfall, threatening the specialty care our hospitals provide.
Addressing these dire financial circumstances remains WSHA’s top priority. We are asking the state to address the backlog of difficult-to-discharge patients, allowing these patients to be transferred out of the hospital and into more appropriate long-term care settings. We will advocate during the 2023 legislative session for an increase to Medicaid rates for hospitals, new funding for post-acute care and behavioral health supports that will allow for intervention prior to an emergency department visit.
We encourage you to continue dialogue with your community, local media and elected officials to keep them informed of the situation and remedies. We will also call on you to join us in our advocacy efforts when the 2023 legislative session begins.
We would like to offer our sincerest thanks to the hospital members who joined us this week as panelists: Mike Marsh from Overlake Medical Center, Jacque Cabe from UW Medicine, Diane Blake from Cascade Medical Center and Alex Jackson from MultiCare Health System.
Please contact Communications Director Tim Pfarr at email@example.com if you would like a copy of the recording to view or share with local media. If you are interested in joining us as a panelist for a future media briefing, please let me know!
WSHA Senior Vice President, Membership Engagement and Communications