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SAN FRANCISCO — Rising labor costs have been the main financial concern for hospitals over the past year, but those costs have peaked and are now a lot lower, according to hospital system executives who presented during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

During the Omicron surge at the beginning of 2022, Covid patients flooded hospitals, which didn’t have enough staff to treat everyone. As a result, hospitals relied more on staffing agencies, especially for travel nurses, to fill the gaps in their facilities.


Many of those temporary staff members and travel nurses were able to command higher base wages, and those higher costs chipped away at hospital margins. Hospital lobbyists have continued to argue labor costs are among the factors that are “jeopardizing access and services” for patients.

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