Financial pressures and workforce shortages continue to challenge our hospitals, operating on small or negative margins. Hospital leaders from across the state will provide local perspectives on their facilities related to these issues.
A recent NHA survey of our members shows that workforce and fiscal challenges are the top two most pressing issues. 90% are currently experiencing a workforce shortage, ranging from 5-25% of their total employment workforce. Recruiting and retaining health care professionals pose a real challenge, combined with a generational shift as baby boomers exit the workforce.
Financial challenges also continue to have major impacts on our facilities, with 48% reporting their hospitals are operating at a negative margin. 73% report financial conditions as either challenging or very challenging for the current fiscal year. Our hospitals continue to be at risk of cutting services in the communities they serve. Medicaid provider rates have increased modestly (3%) and CMS plans to boost Medicare reimbursements by 3.1% in 2024.
These are positive signs, but are still greatly inadequate in keeping pace with the current rate of inflation and making our hospitals whole again.
"Nebraska hospitals continue to face challenging headwinds from critical workforce shortages and financial pressures that are not subsiding quickly enough,” said Jeremy Nordquist, President, NHA.