Advocate Aurora Health Care sustained investment losses of $666 million the first half of 2022 — the most high-profile example of how the bear market trampled southeastern Wisconsin health care systems’ cash flows even as the systems are struggling to cover inflationary costs.

Advocate Aurora, which has co-headquarters in Milwaukee and suburban Chicago, is far from alone among its peers in Wisconsin and nationwide. Downward pressure on the investment markets translated to overall net losses for many health care systems across the country reporting financial results for the quarter that ended June 30.

The upshot is that health care systems are more closely watching day-to-day expenses and in some cases postponing or decelerating plans for capital projects that can include expansions, new equipment and new facilities, credit analysts said.

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