AHA survey: Negative profit margins for hospitals

With all the news we've been giving you of hospitals around the country struggling, it should be no surprise that the AHA's new survey results on hospital finances are not good. A quick-response survey about the third quarter of this year showed that hospitals are showing a negative profit margin of 1.6 percent; last year's result was a positive margin of 6.1 percent. That's a pretty dramatic change.

So what are hospitals considering to get their profit margin back on the positive side? More than half are at least thinking about staff reductions, and a quarter of them are trying to decide whether they should reduce their services.

Meanwhile, it could get even worse; as the unemployment rate rises, more people are likely to seek uncompensated care at emergency rooms. The AHA has no magic solution for the problem, but it is pleading with lawmakers to not decrease payments for Medicare and Medicaid. That would just be adding insult to injury.

To learn more about the survey:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece