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BENCHMARKS: Five year trends for days in patient accounts receivable data for U.S. hospitals

TAKEAWAY: The median value for the accounting metric “Days in Patient Accounts Receivable” for all U.S. hospitals has increased from 2010 to 2014.

WHAT IS THIS METRIC?  WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

“This ratio provides a measure of the average time that receivables are outstanding, or average collection period.  High values for this ratio imply longer collection periods and thus a need for the hospital to finance its investment in accounts receivable.” (p. 74).

This source provides data from two different databases – one based on hospitals’ audited financial statements and the other based on Medicare cost reports.  Here are a couple of comparative data points from these two separate databases.

DATA FOR ALL U.S. HOSPITALS: Median values: Audited Financial Statements

  • 47.1 days  2010
  • 48.5 days  2014

DATA FOR ALL U.S. HOSPITALS: Median values: Medicare Cost Report Data

  • 52.3 days  2010
  • 57.2 days  2014

This data source has much more granular data according to characteristics of hospitals.  These metrics vary by region of the country – with the Northeast having the lowest values (this is desirable).  System-affiliated hospitals, as a group, have lower values (again, this is desirable) than independent hospitals do.

Source: Optum. (2015). Almanac of hospital financial & operating indicators: a comprehensive benchmark of the nation’s hospitals (2016 ed., pp. 74-79). Publisher’s website here: https://www.optumcoding.com/Product/43409/  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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