Fitch: Fewer uninsured offset nonprofit hospital challenges

The reduction in the number of uninsured patients served by nonprofit hospitals in the U.S. is positive for the sector overall, according to a recent report by Fitch Ratings.

The U.S. Census Bureau released health insurance data earlier this month that shows the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 33 million in 2014, down from 41.8 million the year prior.

Fitch said the reduction in the number of uninsured patients has helped nonprofit hospitals sustain operating margins even as inpatient volumes have remained largely flat. The drop in the uninsured rate has also helped mitigate the impact of tighter reimbursement increases from managed care and Medicare payers, according to the rating agency.

Looking forward, Fitch expects the positive impact on nonprofit hospital performance caused by the drop in the number of uninsured patients to continue.

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