A Perfect Storm

February 07, 2022
We’re coming out of the most harrowing months since the earliest days of this pandemic. In January, there were more new COVID-19 patients than the previous 10 months combined. A spike in hospitalizations—2,603 COVID inpatients per day on average—strained your hospitals and already overburdened workforce. Fifteen Maryland hospitals—35% of the acute care hospitals in the state—declared crisis standards of care in this time, indicating severe overload. The omicron surge created what Dr. David Marcozzi, of the University of Maryland Medical System, called a “perfect storm,” where a record number of COVID-19 patients combined with too few hospital team members to care for them. The MHA COVID-19 snapshot shows hospitals are spending far more on the contract labor needed to keep your teams afloat—$453 million more now than before the pandemic. A national report from Kaufman Hall reveals the Maryland experience is mirrored elsewhere. Omicron has been punishing for hospitals—driving up patient volumes and costs. MHA’s Task Force on Maryland’s Future Health Workforce aims to identify ways to keep hospitals running well both in the short term and over the long haul, notwithstanding the pandemic’s earthshaking effects on the labor market. As Maryland begins to see the end of this latest surge, MHA is working to make sure public officials and other key stakeholders understand the devastating toll. The need for relief is far from over and the road to recovery is long. Bob Atlas President & CEO
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