COVID-19 continues to have deep and lingering financial impacts on hospitals in New Jersey. A mid-year analysis of financial data shows nearly 60% of the state’s hospitals in the red and an average statewide operating margin of negative 4%.
The effects have been profound, and serve as a potential microcosm of the continuing impact of the coronavirus on hospital operating margins nationwide.
The decline in the state is the result of a dual blow of declining revenues and rising expenses, according to the report from the Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation at the New Jersey Hospital Association. Officials said the state’s hospitals haven’t experienced this level of fiscal distress in more than 20 years.
In fact, the last time margins sunk so deeply into the red was in the late 1990s. At that time, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 resulted in significant payment cuts to the state’s