According to a recent AHA (American Hospital Association) survey, which is included in the 2010 edition of AHA Hospital Statistics, the recession continues to impact community hospital operations.
- As unemployment rises, six in 10 hospitals report seeing more uninsured patients in the emergency department and half cite an increased need for health clinics and other subsidized services.
- Nearly half of hospitals report declining margins and one-third report a negative total margin with most finding it hard to access capital, which has resulted in cuts to capital spending for facility upgrades, as well as clinical and information technology projects.
- According to the survey, the continued difficulties in borrowing are particularly worrisome as hospitals scramble to invest in information technology.
- To help stabilize financial performance, more than 80 percent of hospitals are cutting administrative expenses, slightly more than half are reducing staff and 20 percent are curtailing community services.
To order AHA Hospital Statistics - 2010 Edition, go to www.ahadata.com.