Hospitals in financial distress: Hospital company expects record number of hospital bankruptcies

Hospitals in financial distress: Hospital company expects record number of hospital bankruptcies

According to estimates by the German Hospital Society (DKG), as many clinics in Germany will be included in the next year Insolvency slide like never before. “We are currently recording significantly more insolvencies than usual and 2024 threatens to be a record insolvency year,” said association boss Gerald Gaß to the Editorial Network Germany (RND), referring to the current hospital barometer from the German Hospital Institute (DKI). There were almost 40 bankruptcies in 2023. “For 2024, we run the risk of this number doubling due to the foreseeable strong development in personnel costs.”

While in 2022 around half of the Hospitals (54 percent) report a negative annual result, according to the hospital barometer this proportion increases to more than three quarters (78 percent) in the current year, reports the RND from the annual representative survey of general hospitals in Germany. The proportion of houses with a surplus falls from 35 to just seven percent. According to the survey, 71 percent of hospitals expect further deterioration in 2024. Only four percent expect an improvement.

“These are the worst values ​​since the hospital barometer was introduced in 2000,” Gaß told the RND. Hardly any hospital can still cover its expenses from current income. He again called for inflation compensation for hospitals. The clinics would not be able to independently adjust their prices to inflation, but would have the same increases in spending as other sectors of the economy. “This imbalance is increasingly leading to bankruptcies and closures.” By the end of the year, the clinics were missing a total of ten billion euros.

According to the umbrella association of statutory health and nursing care insurance (GKV), insolvencies are also increasing in nursing care. “The bankruptcies are a warning signal. We have not yet seen a decline in supply contracts in outpatient or inpatient care, but we have, for example, two percent fewer places available in nursing homes within a year.” The reason is the lack of personnel and the resulting increased entrepreneurial risk. “The need is increasing because society is getting older. Today we have around five million people in need of care, which will increase to around six million people in the next few years,” said GKV Vice President Gernot Kiefer Rhenish Post.

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