Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Report: Revenue Growth Lags at Nonprofit Hospitals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Report: Revenue Growth Lags at Nonprofit Hospitals

Article excerpt

The outlook for the nation's nonprofit hospitals is negative, says Moody's Investors Services, a conclusion that doesn't come as a surprise to area health care leaders.

The ratings agency's dismal report, released on Wednesday, finds that operating revenue growth for nonprofit hospitals is at a low point since the recession. Cuts in Medicare reimbursements and pressure from businesses are factors, the report found.

"Certainly, no one would want this kind of assessment for their industry, and it is troubling but not necessarily unexpected," said Ken Venuto, chief financial officer of St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis.

Operating revenue growth dipped to a low of 3.9 percent in fiscal year 2013, Moody's said. This is the second consecutive year in which expenses outpaced revenue growth, a trend that is unsustainable, it said. Historical revenue growth rates exceeded 7 percent.

Profitability margins also declined for the second year in a row "to levels not seen since the recession," according to the Moody's report, which analyzed the financial statements of 383 nonprofit hospitals.

Inpatient admissions declined as outpatient services grew, but the growth of outpatient services slowed compared to prior years. …

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