Hospital losses widen in Massachusetts

A new report by regulators in Massachusetts shows the state's hospitals are under increasing financial pressure and more are losing money, reported the Worcester Business Journal.

According to the state's Division of Health Care Finance, more than a third of Massachusetts' hospitals--24 of 65--lost money. That compares to only 16 hospitals losing money in the prior report, according to the Business Journal.

The losses were specifically tied to the cost of patient care outpacing revenues, the Business Journal reported. And among those hospitals that were profitable, 60 percent had margins below 3 percent.

Although liquidity among hospitals had remained stable, the median cash on hand of 64.3 days was far lower than the nationwide average of 113.3 days, according to the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Business Journal reported.

Meanwhile, regulators have increased the surcharge on services provided to hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, noted Business Insurance.

The surcharge has increased to 1.87 percent of charges, up from 1.75 percent. Although some of the money is used to reimburse hospitals for the uninsured, a growing proportion is going toward subsidizing insurance for low-income individuals, the article noted.

To learn more:
- read the Worcester Business Journal article
- here's the Business Insurance article (registration required)