4 ways Virginia hospitals are struggling financially

New data from Virginia Health Information, the agency that gathers and reports healthcare data in the state, show that hospitals in Virginia continue to face financial challenges, according to a report published on alexandrianews.org.

Here are four findings from the report.

1. From 2008 to 2014, the annual rate of Virginia acute care hospitals operating in the red has ranged from 25 to 38 percent. The range for rural hospitals is 42 to 63 percent.

2. VHI data show about 25 percent of acute care hospitals in the state, and nearly 42 percent of rural hospitals, operated in the red during calendar year 2014.

3. VHI 2014 data also show 40 of 89 Virginia hospitals had an operating margin below 4 percent — the commonly accepted minimum amount necessary for hospitals to remain financially stable and provide for capital expenditures, according to the report. With rural hospitals, 18 of 31 were in that category. Some had negative margins while others had modestly positive margins.

4. The current inpatient reimbursement rate for Medicaid in Virginia is 66 percent, down from 79 percent in 2002.

In the report, the financial challenges Virginia hospitals face are, in part, attributed to pressures of longtime federal government care mandates, along with federal funding cuts that affect healthcare.


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