U.S. Health Systems See Declining Volume in Pediatric, Maternal and Newborn Departments, Uptick in Pediatric ICU Visits in June 2021, According to Syntellis Performance Trends Report

Syntellis Performance Solutions’ new monthly trends report analyzes financial and operational data from more than 1,000 hospitals and 135,000 physicians

CHICAGO – July 29, 2021 – A new report from Syntellis Performance Solutions, a leading provider of innovative enterprise performance management software, data and analytics solutions for healthcare organizations, released today reveals that although inpatient volumes are beginning to return to and even surpass pre-pandemic levels, pediatric, maternal and newborn departments lag by 2.9 percent when compared to June 2019. This and other key findings are detailed in the inaugural edition of the company’s new monthly report, Syntellis Performance Trends, which analyzes data from more than 1,000 hospitals and 135,000+ physicians from over 10,000 practices and 139 specialty categories.

These latest findings are in line with reports from across the country pointing to declining birth volumes and greater interest in out-of-hospital births since the height of the pandemic. Last month, the CDC reported that 2020 saw the steepest annual decline in birth volumes since 1973.

“Our healthcare clients have been on the frontlines of the pandemic in an industry that saw more disruption than any other. With direct access to the largest collection of real-time data from healthcare providers, Syntellis is best suited to identify trends that may indicate future areas of risk,” said Flint Brenton, CEO at Syntellis Performance Solutions. “Syntellis is the only organization providing access to this real-time data that health systems need to recover and stay agile. The Syntellis Performance Trends report shares our learnings beyond our clients and helps position industry leaders with the insights they need to improve the overall financial and operational well-being of their hospitals and health systems, preparing them to weather the next storm.”

“The trends we’ve identified this month, including potential labor shortages and the decline in inpatient volumes in certain departments are indicators not only of the financial health of these organizations, but the potential implications on patient care and the economy,” said Steve Wasson, EVP and General Manager, Data and Intelligence Solutions. “Our hope is that the industry can take this intelligence and make informed decisions leading to higher quality of care, improved profitability and preparedness for future challenges.”


Additional findings from Syntellis Performance Trends include:

  • There is a stark contrast between volumes in nursing departments for adult patients compared to pediatric, mother and newborn patients. Patient days in many nursing departments continued to increase in June 2021, but pediatric, postpartum, mother and newborn nursing departments accounted for four of the six lowest patient volumes. In May, nursing departments specializing in non-adult and non-mother patients had the largest deficit in volume compared to May 2019. Labor/Delivery/Postpartum had -7.9% fewer patient days, Pediatric Nursing had -9.1% fewer patient days and Newborn Nurseries had -14.4% fewer patient days.
  • Pediatric ICU volume is on the rise. Intensive care such as Neonatal ICUs and Pediatric ICUs saw 7.7% and 3.9% more patient days respectively than June 2019.
  • Low inpatient volume impacts other patient care departments, such as food service. Adjusted Patient Days are up 7.2% nationally in June 2021 compared to June 2019, but some supporting areas still lag. Meals for Patient Food Services with and without Retail are still down -14% and -11% respectively compared to June 2019. Nutritional and Dietary Services also saw -9% fewer meals in June 2021. The deficit in meals is partially responsible for keeping Labor Expense per Meal 8%-9% higher than June 2019 while Non-Labor Expense per Meal is 22%-30% higher for Patient Food Services. This is a slight improvement from last month where meal volume was down -19% in each of these three areas and Labor Expense per Meal was up 16%-25% compared to May 2019.
  • Orthopedics and physical therapy visits are up, costs down. June 2021 was a positive month for Orthopedics as patient visits were 11.3% higher than they were in June 2019. At the same time, costs are down, with the majority attributed to a decrease in labor expense. In this aspect, total hospital Labor Expense per Adjusted Patient Day was down just -0.6% while Orthopedics and Physical Therapy was down -3.1% to -13.0% in June 2021 compared to June 2019.
  • Imaging services saw a robust volume increase last month. Imaging services saw a robust increase in imaging procedures in June 2021, a reversal of trends seen in June 2020. PET, CT, Ultrasound and MRI imaging all outpaced the 15.3% increase in adjusted patient days in hospitals nationally at 20%, 19%, 17% and 16% respectively, while Radiology was close behind with a 13.9% increase compared to June 2020. Mammography was the only imaging department that saw no decrease in imaging procedures in June 2020 versus June 2019, but still saw a 10.9% increase in June 2021.


Syntellis’ Axiom Healthcare Suite enables best-practice financial planning to streamline processes and prepare for the future. The company’s Axiom Comparative Analytics provides in-depth analyses and benchmark data for industry leaders that can be customized into specific peer groups – such as by specialty, practice size or region – or broken out by individual providers.


For more information on the Syntellis Performance Trends report, please visit this page.  


About Syntellis Performance Solutions

Syntellis Performance Solutions, previously Kaufman Hall Software, provides innovative enterprise performance management software, data and analytics solutions for healthcare organizations. Its solutions include enterprise planning, cost and decision support, and financial and clinical analytics tools to elevate organizational performance and transform vision into reality. With over 2,800 organizations and 450,000 users relying on its Axiom and Connected Analytics software, combined with No. 1 rankings from Black Book Research and an HFMA Peer Review designation for six consecutive years, Syntellis helps healthcare providers acquire insights, accelerate decisions and advance their business plans. For more information, please visit www.syntellis.com.


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Stephanie Fergione