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Andrea Santiago

50% of U.S. Hospitals Losing Money

By March 3, 2009

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The LA Times has reported on the newest Thomson Reuters report, released this week, detailing the state of hospital finances in America.

The report is full of bad news apparently, showing that approximately half of all hospitals nationwide are currently losing money.

The losses seem to be impacting all types of hospitals, according to The LA Times. This includes non-profit, for-profit, public, and private.

44% of hospitals have seen a decline in surgeries. As more people continue to lose their jobs and their health insurance, non-emergency procedures will most likely to decline. Additionally, many hospitals expect their bad debt to increase, and their uninsured population to grow as well, which will continue the downward trend in profit margin.

How will this impact you as a healthcare professional? Many of the hospitals in the red are planning cuts in services, which will result in staff cuts as well. The hospital finances reported for 2008 are the worst ever reported, with 25% of hospitals operating at -7% revenue, according to The LA Times article.

If you are seeking a hospital job, do your research to determine if your target employer is in relatively good shape, or if they are struggling financially. You may be able to find this out by checking out the local media or newspaper to see what has been reported about the financial state of the hospital. Additionally, ask around to determine if there have been any recent layoffs. Also, take note of the hospital services and see if they appear to be fairly recession-proof. For example, a hospital with a major heart program may be more likely to survive in a recession, as heart care is a necessity, not a luxury that can be put off for long.

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