Pennsylvania hospitals see declining margins

Hospitals in Western Pennsylvania have reported significantly reduced margins for fiscal 2013 as a result of reduced reimbursements from government and private payers, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported

The collective operating margins of the region's 58 facilities fell from 4.4 percent to 1.8 percent during the period from July 1, 2012 to June 30 of this year, according to a report from the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania.

"We continue to be concerned about the declining operating margins of the region's hospitals," Denis Lukes, council vice president of financial services, said in a statement.

The downward trend among the hospitals in the region appears to reflect financial pressures at inpatient facilities in other parts of the U.S. In Maryland, margins declined 71 percent during the 2013 fiscal year, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

One exception has been Florida, where facilities in the Miami region saw improving margins as a result of expanded outpatient services and observation care.

Both Florida and Pennsylvania are unlikely to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, meaning their hospitals are likely to experience significant disproportionate share hospital cuts in the coming years without extra dollars from the Medicaid program.

To learn more:
- read the Pittsburgh Business Times article
- check out the Baltimore Business Journal article

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