July was a bright spot for hospital volumes after rough June, Kaufman Hall reports

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In July, the consulting company's August 2019 National Flash Report of metrics from more than 600 hospitals showed health systems saw discharges, emergency department visits and adjusted volume metrics improved about 3% to 4% from the previous month. (Getty/turk_stock_photographer)

After a rather lackluster financial performance in June, U.S. hospitals appeared to bounce back in July thanks to an unexpected uptick in inpatient and emergency department volumes, a new report from Kaufman Hall found.

In general, over the last year Kaufman Hall has seen institutions largely responding well to the larger trend of reducing inpatient volumes and managing their cost structures accordingly, Managing Director Jim Blake told FierceHealthcare.

But "what we saw last month was a little bit of the wheels falling off the bus," Blake said. "We saw the volume decreases were bigger, the profitability on the month-over-month and year-over-year bases were much worse. We saw institutions, on average, not handling it. It was a pretty bad month." 

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