For-profit systems reported weak patient volume for the second quarter of the year, and the challenging operating environment is expected to persist, according to a report from Fitch Ratings. Modern Healthcare reports that investor-owned chains experienced a 2.7 percent decline in admissions. It also notes that high unemployment rates, growing numbers of uninsured patients, and federal and state reimbursement pressures will continue to challenge hospital profitability. At for-profit hospitals, same-facility net revenue increased 3.7 percent; Fitch does not expect to downgrade any ratings in the second half of the year.
The Altarum Institute’s September Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs show an increase in national health spending by 4.2 percent in July 2012 in comparison to one year ago. Though the numbers are up, they still follow the overall slow trend of health spending. The average rate of growth for 2012 of 4.3 percent, a stark contrast from last year’s estimated 5.2 percent. On a yearly average, healthcare prices are at their lowest since January 1999. The Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs, published monthly, offer in-depth briefings on health sector employment (which are also on the decline), spending, and prices and… Full Story
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