Revenue growth slows at PA hospitals

It was a good news/bad news situation for Pennsylvania hospitals last year. On the one hand, revenues continued to grow and margins climbed--but on the other hand, growth slowed from the previous year, according to a new report released last week by the state. While this is mostly good news, the state's hospitals worry that if revenue slips, the slowing economy will eat them alive.

For the fifth consecutive year, the hospitals' collective margins rose, up to 6.5 percent in 2007 from 5.4 percent in 2006, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC3). And combined net patient revenue climbed to $29.8 billion in 2007, up from $27.9 billion the previous year. (From what I've seen, that's far better than many states, some of that are facing collective losses or have virtually no margin.)

The problem, according to the agency, is that the state's hospitals spent more on charity care and faced higher debts overall last year. The PHC3 found that hospitals faced bad debt and charity care expenses of $678 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, as compared with $604 million the previous fiscal year.

To learn more about hospital performance in Pennsylvania:
- read this piece from The York Daily Record

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