Despite changes to federal regulations and restricted reimbursements, hospitals in Massachusetts managed to fare quite well. In fact, recent reports show that acute-care hospitals in Massachusetts performed better in fiscal year 2014 than they did the previous fiscal year. Furthermore, most of the hospitals in the Bay State operated at a profit.
Taking at Look at Financial Performance
Each year, the state takes a closer look at acute hospitals and their financial performance, using data complied from the Center for Health Information and Analysis. According to the most recent report, fewer hospitals in the state reported an operating cost, even when taking into considering revenues and expenses tied to patient activities. In fact, only 13 hospitals were in the red at the end of fiscal year 2014, which falls in June, September or December depending upon the individual hospital. The report further fund that the ratio of operating income or loss to total revenue increased from 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent across the state when comparing 2014 to 2013.
Overall, Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester posted the highest operating margins. As a for-profit health care group, the hospital is a member of publicly traded Tent Healthcare (NYSE: THC). The hospital reported an operating margin of 15.6 percent. To obtain this impressive operating margin, the hospital has focused on providing high-quality, cost effective care that is sought out by those living in the Worcester area.
Saint Anne’s Hospital, which is part of the Steward Health Care group, also posted an operating margin of 10.4 percent. The company maintains this is a direct reflection of its investments. Among these have been an investment of more than $850 million over the past four years in its integrated care system designed to improve quality of care while also upgrading technology and renovating the facilities.
On the other hand, the Steward Health Care group also operates Steward Carney Hospital and Quincy Medical Center, both of which operated at a loss. While Steward Carney Hospital posted a loss of 10.2 percent, Quincy Medical Center had the greatest loss at 57 percent. Quincy Medical Center closed in December last year after officials decided the facility could not be turned around. The outlook is different for Steward Carney Hospital, however, as improvements are in the works and use of the facility is on the rise. As a result, the hospital has added nearly 100 new members to its medical staff since the beginning of the year.
Looking Toward the Future
So, what does the financial status of Massachusetts hospitals have to do with those who live in the area? Not only does the success of these facilities ensure that quality medical care facilities remain in the state, but those that are performing well also serve as a model for future healthcare facilities. Massachusetts teaching hospitals enjoyed the highest margins in 2014, which means more medical groups are likely to move in that direction. Community hospitals, on the other hand, had the lowest margins, meaning these types of facilities are likely to be phased out.