Financial challenges in future for U.S. hospitals

Despite the challenges they face, U.S. hospitals have actually improved their financial picture in recent years--but that may be about to change, according to a new report. Moody's Investors Service, which rates not-for-profit hospital debt, has issued a warning that while hospitals appear to be financially stable in 2008, it's not clear what will happen in 2009 and 2010 if the economy takes a nosedive. Moody's notes that while hospitals are probably secure enough to keep on their feet through 2008, in coming years rising numbers of uninsured patients, growing regulation of not-for-profit charity care levels and changes engendered by the coming presidential election could bring financial problems. To cope, some observers expect not-for-profits will engage in more merger and acquisition activity in coming years.

To learn more about the report:
- read this Chicago Tribune piece

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