MA hospitals face financial challenges

Massachusetts hospitals are making it, but their margins aren't healthy and their expenses are rising, according a new report by the state's hospital association. According to the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), the state's hospitals saw revenue grow 8.4 percent in fiscal 2005 to 2006, but expenses climbed 8.7 percent during the same period. And while there's nothing to suggest that expenses will fall, there's several indicators that the state's hospitals won't be able to keep up revenue growth over the coming year, including a 1.4 percent drop in inpatient discharges, a .3 percent drop in inpatient days and a 3.8 percent jump in less-lucrative outpatient visits. Overall, these trends netted out to a 1.9 percent operating margin for the state's hospitals during fiscal 2005 to 2006, well below the optimal 3 percent margin the MHA would like to see, the group said.

To find out more about the hospitals' financial concerns:
- read this Boston Business Journal piece