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Stateside Podcast: How hospital profits rose during the pandemic

McLaren Hospital in Flint and the Genesee County Health Department have been working with the Centers for Disease Control since a court order is preventing local officials from talking directly with the state health department.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

MLive reporter Matthew Miller recently published a series of stories about financial resources at Michigan’s hospitals. Specifically, which hospitals saw considerable profits during and after the pandemic.

Miller and his team found that 64 of Michigan’s non-profit and government owned hospitals made more money in 2021 than in 2018. Both the McLaren Health Care and Bronson Healthcare systems saw dramatic rise – in 2021, McLaren’s net assets rose by $700 million, and Bronson’s operating profits doubled from what they were in 2019. Executives in the hospital systems also saw pay increases.

As this information trickled through the systems, down to the front line workers – mostly nurses – Miller explained some of the feelings that arose.

“[Nurses] are the ones who have had back–and–forth negotiations with the administration of these hospital systems, on everything from personal protective equipment to bonuses, to what staffing should look like,” Miller said. “They said it leaves a bad taste in their mouth that they're the ones who are assuming the risks, and, in some sense, the horrors of the pandemic, and that they're not the ones who are getting compensated for it.”

Listen to today’s podcast to hear more about Miller’s reporting on hospital profiting.

Read Miller’s stories here, here, and here.

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Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Public in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the summer of 2020.
Cate Weiser joined the Stateside team as an intern in May 2023, and is a second-year at the University of Chicago.