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What impact has the recession had on hospitals?

There is interest in data on the impact of the Great Recession on hospital utilization and financial performance.  A new report just released by the Pennsylvania Health Cost Containment Council provides an analysis of the FY 2010 performance of 163 general acute care hospitals in the Commonwealth.  Inpatient discharges, which had increased a little in the period 2004 to 2008, then fell off a bit in 2009 and 2010 — back to the level that they had been in the late ’90s.  Inpatient days have been trending slowly downward since the late ’90s.  Length of stay has also been slowly decreasing from 6 days in 1996 to 5.2 days in 2010.  Total margin for these Pennsylvania hospitals, which had peaked in FY07, fell in the recession years of 2008 and 2009, but rebounded in FY10.  There has been an impressive drop in days in accounts receivable over the most recent 10-year period.  Other interesting data in this report include ratio of charges to net patient revenue, statewide uncompensated care, and payor mix.

Note on source data: Please note that this report is NOT based on data from the American Hospital Association.  Data are compiled and analyzed by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

Source: Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.  Financial Analysis 2010: Vol. One, General Acute Care Hospitals, May 2011.  http://www.phc4.org/reports/fin/10/

Posted by the AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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