Total Operating Margin Decreases for Pennsylvania Hospitals in FY2012

The overall financial picture for Pennsylvania’s hospitals is mixed, with tighter operating margins and uncertainties over the full impact of the federal health reform law.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council saw a decline of more than 1% in the statewide total margin for the 171 General Acute Care hospitals for fiscal year 2012. The decline was due in part to lower non-operating income, primarily from investments.

PHC4   Executive Director Joe Martin says they also saw an increase of more than 6% in uncompensated care. He says the number has pushed past the one billion dollar mark.

Larger hospitals experienced relatively healthy operating margins in the last fiscal year, but the report found some trouble spots at smaller and midsized hospitals.

The full report is available at the council’s website.


New PHC4 Report Shows Hospital Acquired Infections Continue to Decline

A new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council shows the number of hospital acquired infections and deaths continued to decline in 2010.   The infection rate declined by nearly 6% and the death rate was down over 3 percent in 2010.

People with hospital acquired infections are still readmitted at a higher rate for complications than people who do not get infections.  But Roger Baumgarten, communications director of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, says they are pleased with the report. He says it gets them closer to the goal of eliminating hospital acquired infections.

Baumgarten says the numbers are going in the right direction. He says hospitals are learning more each year and the medical field is learning more  about how infections are transmitted.

He says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a network that allows hospitals to report infections.  He says the data is used by the PHC4, the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority to continue helping hospitals improve their infection numbers. 

Baumgarten says Pennsylvania was the first state to implement a reporting system and has many programs in place to address hospital acquired infections.  He says prevention is a matter of hospital best practices and patient education.

The most common infections are surgery site and urinary tract infections.