ISM: Economic Activity in Hospital Subsector Improves in March

Economic activity in the hospital subsector grew in March for the 10th consecutive month, according to the latest Hospital ISM Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management.

“The Hospital PMI registered 58.8% in March, up 1.3 percentage points from the February reading of 57.5, indicating a 10th consecutive month of growth,” Nancy LeMaster, MBA, chair of the Institute for Supply Management hospital business survey committee, said. “The Business Activity and New Orders Indexes increased compared to February, while the Employment Index fell into contraction in March. The Case Mix Index increased to 54%, up two percentage points compared to the February reading of 52%. The Days Payable Outstanding Index decreased to 44%, down 6.5 percentage points from the February read­ing of 50.5%. The Technology Spend Index registered 51%, a decrease of seven percentage points from the February reading of 58%.

“In March, hospitals began to see the shift in volumes they were hoping for in February. At some facilities, total volume was unchanged, but the patient mix significantly improved. ‘Lower coronavirus (COVID-19) admissions and increased elective procedures was a sentiment echoed by many business survey committee panelists. Extreme weather in the Midwest and South contributed to supply disruptions, including increased back-orders and product substitutions. Several panelists mentioned high levels of manual work-arounds required to find needed supplies. Gloves remain in short supply as do needles and syringes. Panelists anticipate additional shortages of products made from petroleum-based raw materials.”

Hospital PMI History

Month Hospital PMI Month Hospital PMI
March 2021 58.8 Sep. 2020 63.3
Feb. 2021 57.5 Aug. 2020 63.8
Jan. 2021 55.8 July 2020 68.9
Dec. 2020 62.6 June 2020 63.6
Nov. 2020 62.6 May 2020 45.1
Oct. 2020 63.0 April 2020 46.9
Average for 12 months – 59.3

High – 68.9

Low – 45.1


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