U.S. Hospitals Report Lower Operating Margins, Reduced Access to Capital

Most acute-care hospitals have lower operating margins and almost half face reduced access to capital, according to a new report by the AHA.

The report, based on AHA analysis survey data from 572 hospitals collected in March and April 2010, shows the lingering effects of recession and demonstrates the need for Congress to extend enhanced Medicaid payments to states into next year, the AHA stated.

Here are the report's key findings on surveyed hospitals.  
•  Nearly three-quarters have lower operating margins.
•  44 percent report reduced access to capital.
•  67 percent have not started capital projects or have put them on hold.
•  70 percent report fewer patient visits and elective procedures.
•  Almost 90 percent provide more care with no payment at all.     
•  89 percent have not reopened, cut staff positions or increased staff hours.
•  98 percent have not restored services or programs cut because of the recession.

Read the AHA release on hospital finances.

Read other coverage.

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