PHC4 Reports Says Pa. Hospitals Remain in Critical Condition

February 14, 2003

The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) warned this week that the financial condition of the state’s hospitals is worsening.

“A Preview: Hospital Financial Analysis 2002,” a new report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), shows a $112 million jump in uncompensated care – now totaling $979 million. The report examined data for the year ending June 30, 2002.

“Total margins dropped to a dismal 2.26 percent, well below the 4 percent minimum level considered by economists to be sufficient for sustaining financial viability,” Carolyn Scanlan, president and CEO of HAP, said. “Even worse, 41 percent of Pennsylvania’s general acute care hospitals had negative total margins in 2002.

“Pennsylvania’s hospitals continue to be hammered by a number of ‘extraordinary expense drivers’ that threaten patient access to care, including skyrocketing medical liability insurance costs, regulatory compliance costs, escalating – but necessary -disaster/bioterrorism preparedness costs, and persistent shortages of key health care professionals.”

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