State Officials Briefed on Fiscal State of Hospitals
State officials at a Capitol briefing on Friday were presented the results of a report by the California HealthCare Foundation that found that the gap between California hospitals doing well financially and those faring poorly widened from 2001 to 2005, the Sacramento Bee reports (Chan, Sacramento Bee, 6/23).
CHCF commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct the report, based on data from 355 general acute care hospitals in the state.
According to the report, not-for-profit hospitals in urban areas typically were strong financial performers, while small rural facilities operated by public hospital districts or local governments tended to struggle financially.
The report also found that California hospitals on average in 2005 had a lower profit margin than hospitals nationwide, but fewer California hospitals operated with deficits in 2005 than did in 1999 (California Healthline, 6/21).
According to the Bee, hospitals will face new financial struggles in the coming years, including:
- Replacing buildings that do not meet state seismic safety standards;
- An aging population; and
- Demand for new medical technology to serve an aging population.
Hospitals will continue to face growing payrolls caused by shortages of nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals. A rise in patient debt and an uninsured population also continues to strain hospital finances, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 6/23).
The California HealthCare Foundation is the publisher of California Healthline. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.