Economic activity in the hospital subsector grew in August for the 15th consecutive month, say the nation’s hospital supply executives in the latest Hospital ISM Report On Business.
The report was issued by Nancy LeMaster, MBA, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Hospital Business Survey Committee: “The Hospital PMI registered 60.4 percent in August, decreasing 2.4 percentage points from the July reading of 62.8 percent, indicating a 15th consecutive month of growth. The Business Activity Index decreased in August compared to July, and the New Orders Index increased slightly. The Employment Index remained in contraction in August. The Case Mix Index increased to 56 percent, up 3 points compared to the July reading of 53 percent. The Days Payable Outstanding Index registered 48 percent, a 5-percentage point decrease from the July reading of 53.0 percent. The Technology Spend Index registered 50 percent, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the July reading of 53 percent.”
LeMaster continues, “In August, Business Survey Committee panelists commented on the increase in demand driven by COVID-19 patients. Some indicated that they were still able to accommodate elective procedures, while others had to shift all resources to COVID-19 care. In the July report, comments suggested an imminent increase in inventory levels. This was born out in August, when the Inventories Index increased 14.5 percentage points, from 47.5 percent to 62 percent. The spike in COVID-19 cases and ongoing shipping delays were the most-cited reasons for the large increase. Panelists attributed staff vacancies and hiring difficulties to pandemic burnout, mandatory vaccination for staff and higher pay in other industries. Comments such as ‘Staff leaving hospital as they do not want to be forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine,’ and ‘Better pay rates at other businesses’ were common.”
The information compiled in this report is for the month of August 2021.