Hospitals' spending on N95 masks is up 715% since March 2020, although they have more inventory than during last year's COVID-19 spikes, a new Premier analysis finds.
One year into the devastating global pandemic, the supply chain for personal protective equipment has recovered somewhat from the catastrophic weeks of March 2020, but remains strained, with hospitals continuing to pay more than they did pre-pandemic. Those higher prices contributed to hospitals' to lower operating margins in 2020.
Premier, a publicly traded group purchasing organization and consultancy with a network of more than 4,100 member hospitals and health systems, focused its March 2021 study on N95 masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns and exam gloves. Hospital staffers reported reusing all four of those items in a December 2020 survey, despite the fact that they're intended to be used once.