2010 Health Forum Stats from AHA

Caroline Rossi Sternberg, VP of Trends Analysis for the American Hospital Association, recently published a paper detailing the results of AHA’s annual hospital survey with some startling statistics. For the convenience of our healthcare factoring blog readers, we’ve summarized some of the survey’s findings below:

The housing market collapse in 2008 shook up capital markets for hospitals in late 2008, when 9 out of 10 hospitals reported that their ability to access tax-exempt bonds was nearly non-existent, and their short-term borrowing options had nearly dried up completely.

With less access to capital between 2008-2009, 71 percent of hospitals reduced capital spending, 40 percent scaled back on projects already in-the-works and nearly half decided not to go through with future projects (including renovations and updating aging facilities).

In addition, the drop in the stock markets also affected hospitals, as they saw an equal decline in their charitable donations.

Moreover, as more people lost their jobs, hospitals reported a moderate increase in the number of patients entering their doors without insurance or covered by Medicaid (which routinely underpays for procedures).

During this troublesome time, most hospitals were forced to make cutbacks by reducing staff and other administrative expenses in addition to reducing services that are traditionally poorly reimbursed (i.e. behavioral health, post-acute care, clinics and patient education).

For more information on American hospitals, visit the American Hospital Association’s Reports and Studies page.