Oregon hospital profits climb 38% in 2015: 3 key points

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Oregon hospitals have seen improved financial health as more people have gained health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to The Bulletin.

The publication cites a new report issued by the Oregon Health Authority, which found operating margins have increased across Oregon's hospitals, while uncompensated care decreased. 

This is attributed to expansion of health insurance through provisions of the ACA. Oregon accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid in 2014. As the ACA increased access to healthcare coverage through expanded Medicaid eligibility and the health insurance exchange, the number of uninsured individuals in Oregon fell sharply from 14.5 percent in 2013 to 5.3 percent in 2015, according to an Oregon Health Insurance Survey.

The OHA said this significantly reduced the need for financial assistance and charity care as the uninsured rate fell and the cost of services provided to them were recouped by hospitals.

Here are three key points from the OHA.

1. Oregon hospitals' uncompensated care –– a combination of charity care and bad debt –– dropped by $342 million, or 38.4 percent, between 2014 and 2015.

2. Oregon hospitals' net income in 2015 increased $367 million, a 53.8 percent gain compared to 2014.

3. The OHA found that rural hospitals overall experienced more fluctuation in income and operated with tighter margins from 2010-2015, but all hospital types had greater net income in 2015.

 

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