“I am extremely grateful for all that all of our members have done and continue to do to help support OHSU and the people of Oregon. After more than two years of managing a global pandemic and other serious challenges, OHSU is no stranger to uncertainty. We have demonstrated an ability to pivot, reinvent and reorient countless times to support our people and our missions. Together, as one university, we are taking action — deeply rooted in our missions and values, and our responsibility to the state – to improve our financial performance and secure the long-term future of OHSU. — OHSU President Danny Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
The pandemic has exacerbated OHSU’s financial difficulties. As patient volumes have increased, admissions, the number of patients and the type of patients we care for have changed, which has reduced our revenue. At the same time, costs, especially labor costs, are higher than ever.
Prior to the pandemic, OHSU’s revenue growth covered budget variances and made it possible to invest in our people, programs, and locations, in support of our missions of education, research, patient care, and statewide community services. But the postponement of surgeries and procedures to support multiple surges of critically ill COVID-19 patients, a prolonged labor shortage that forces us to close hospital beds for periods of time, rising inflation and increased uncertainty have all contributed to a financial situation in which our expenses exceed our incomes at an alarming rate.
In February 2022, OHSU incurred a loss of $20 million, bringing the year-to-date operating loss to $61 million, $69 million below seasonally adjusted budget and $102 million dollars less than the first eight months of last year (FY21).
To overcome these obstacles and secure OHSU’s long-term future, OHSU President Danny Jacobs, his leadership team, and senior leaders from across the organization are developing a new strategic budget approach and disciplined for the next five years which will create a more sustainable and certain future situation for the years to come.
Some of the short-term fiscal measures we’ve used over the years — such as hiring freezes and service and supply spending cuts — won’t serve OHSU’s long-term strategic interest, and we would like to take a different approach.
Organizational priorities that will endure include our timeless aspirations*; our active work to become a better organization where all are welcomed, supported and can succeed; doing what we do exceptionally well — providing complex care for the sickest of the sick; and ensuring access to health care for the state’s most vulnerable and underserved residents.
All missions – patient care, education and research – will be impacted, although to varying degrees.
OHSU is one of hundreds of hospitals and health systems nationwide to experience financial difficulties in 2022. According to a recent report cited by the American Hospital Association, “median operating margins for hospitals and healthcare systems fell 11.8% in February.”  and 26.7% year over year.
To help explain the current situation, we have created a whiteboard video.
*OHSU’s timeless aspiration
- Build a diverse and equitable environment where everyone can thrive and excel.
- To be the destination for transformational learning.
- Improving health and health care in every community.
- Discover and innovate to advance science and optimize global health.
- Building community partnerships for a better world.
- Ensure a sustainable basic infrastructure.