Advocate Aurora Health counters labor cost inflation trend

Advocate Aurora Health’s payroll costs grew much slower than the national average in 2021, pushing up its bottom line.

Payroll and benefit costs only increased 3.2% from 2020 to 2021 in a system of 26 hospitals in Wisconsin and Illinois, Advocate Aurora. informed Monday. Payroll costs at national hospitals rose 13% over the period, according to Kaufman Hall.

Lawyer Aurora never had to rely so heavily on recruitment agencies last year because it didn’t cut benefits, lay off employees, or lay off employees, the non-profit system said in a statement. Contract wages are up 44% from 2020 to 2021, according to Kaufman Hall.

Limiting growth in labor costs contributed to Advocate Aurora operating income of $593.6 million compared to $213 million in operating income in 2020. During this period, its revenue increased from $13.13 billion to $14.06 billion.

But Advocate Aurora expects a much higher percentage increase in staff costs in 2022. The healthcare system recently raised the minimum wage to $18 an hour and will pay employees $100 million in bonuses in February, the company said.

Over the past two years, Attorney Aurora has received over $821 million in COVID-19 relief grants.

To learn more about agency staff costs and regulatory requirements, listen to Beyond the Byline.

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