ISM: Hospital PMI Reaches Highest Mark Since August 2020

Economic activity in the hospital subsector grew in October for the 17th consecutive month, according to the latest Hospital ISM Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management.

“The Hospital PMI registered 63.4% in October, increasing 2.8 percentage points from the September reading of 60.6%, indicating a 17th consecutive month of growth. This is the highest reading since August 2020 (63.8%),” Nancy LeMaster, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s hospital business survey committee, said. “The Business Activity Index decreased slightly from September. The New Orders Index increased in October compared to September. The Employment Index remained in contraction, with a minimal increase in October compared to September. The Case Mix Index decreased to 54.5%, down one percentage point compared to the September reading of 55.5%. The Days Payable Outstanding Index registered 51.5%, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from the September reading of 48%. The Technology Spend Index registered 53%, an increase of one percentage point from the September reading of 52%.

“This Business Survey Committee respondent quote might best sum up the month: ‘It’s crazy out there.’ Back orders and their impact on operations was top of mind in describing the month of October. Shortages and delays impacted availability of supplies and equipment well beyond personal protective equipment (PPE). Respondents indicated their facilities were increasing inventory levels and devoting significant resources to identifying clinically acceptable substitutions. The grip of COVID-19 loosened in some parts of the country, but many panelists commented that intensive care units (ICUs) remained at capacity and elective procedure postponements continued. One respondent indicated elective procedures had been delayed 30 days; another reported a moratorium on procedures requiring post-operative inpatient recovery. Staffing shortages continued for all levels and types of employees, and some comments cited the negative impact of higher staffing costs on hospital margins.”

Hospital PMI History

Month Hospital PMI Month Hospital PMI
October 2021 63.4 April 2021 61.9
September 2021 60.6 March 2021 58.8
August 2021 60.4 February 2021 57.5
July 2021 62.8 January 2021 55.8
June 2021 63.1 December 2020 62.6
May 2021 61.3 November 2020 62.6
Average for 12 months – 60.9

High – 63.4

Low – 55.8

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