Whereas the lowest-earning hospitals dedicated $72.30 of every $100 of net income to charity care, the top earning hospitals devoted just $11.50 to charity care for the uninsured. Other hospital news comes out of North Carolina, Iowa, Florida and California.
Reuters: Nonprofit Hospitals With Healthiest Finances Offer Little Charity Care
Among nonprofit hospitals, those with the highest net incomes tend to devote the smallest proportion of their earnings to providing free care to uninsured patients and low-income people who struggle to pay their bills, a U.S. study suggests. Overall in 2017, the study found, nonprofit hospitals nationwide generated $47.9 billion in net income, provided $9.7 billion in charity care to uninsured patients and spent another $4.5 billion in charity care for people with insurance who couldn’t afford their bills. (Rapaport, 2/17)
Modern Healthcare: Rural Hospitals’ Margins Decline, Sparking Financial Instability
More than 450 rural hospitals are financially unstable as operating margins decline, new research shows. Of the 453 vulnerable rural hospitals, 237 are “at risk” and 216 are the least stable, according to an analysis from the Chartis Center for Rural Health that weighed case mix, ownership model, capital efficiency, occupancy and other factors. About 47% of the country’s 1,844 rural hospitals are operating in the red, up from 39% in 2015. (Kacik, 2/14)
North Carolina Health News: Troubled Eastern NC Hospital Has Not Yet Sold
An eastern North Carolina hospital that’s entangled in bankruptcy proceedings remains in limbo, despite plans to have it sold by the end of January, court documents show. A draft purchase agreement for Washington Regional Medical Center, a 25-bed facility in Plymouth, spells out that Affinity Health Partners, the company that currently manages the hospital, would buy the rural facility for $3.5 million. The agreement, filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court at the Eastern District of North Carolina, also stipulates that the Texas-based firm will invest more than $1 million in the hospital and make plans to replace Washington Regional’s aging facility following the purchase. But as of Monday, Affinity had not yet signed the agreement. (Engel-Smith, 2/18)
Des Moines Register: Cyber Security: Iowa Patients’ Information Accessed In Data Breach
More than 7,000 patients of a south-central Iowa medical system have been notified that their personal information may have been leaked in a data breach. Monroe County Hospital & Clinics said in a news release Monday that approximately 7,500 people were notified that the breach may have led to unauthorized access of their individual health information. These people were also given instructions about how to monitor their credit scores in the event their information was stolen. (Davis, 2/17)
ABC News: Shooting Victim Alleges Miami Hospital Missed Bullet In Her Head And Sent Her Home
A Miami woman initially counted herself blessed for having survived a drive-by shooting with what she alleges a doctor told her was just a graze wound. But days later Shakena Jefferson was rushed to a trauma center where an X-ray confirmed she had been walking around with a bullet lodged in her head, according to her family. Jefferson, 42, underwent emergency surgery on Saturday at Baptist Hospital of Miami to remove the slug from her head three days after a doctor at another hospital is said to have bandaged a wound near her left temple and sent her home with antibiotics, her wife, Janet Medley, told ABC News on Monday. (Hutchinson, 2/17)
Kaiser Health News: Abortion-Rights Supporters Fear Loss Of Access If Adventist Saves Hospital
For more than two years, physician assistant Dawn Hofberg fought to bring access to abortions back to California’s Mendocino Coast, a picturesque stretch of shoreline about three hours north of San Francisco and 90 minutes from the nearest facility offering abortions. Hofberg enlisted help from local health care providers and the American Civil Liberties Union, which sent letters to the Mendocino Coast Health Care District that operates the hospital in Fort Bragg and other medical services. The letters noted that the state constitution requires public hospitals to offer abortions if they offer other pregnancy-related care. (Littlefield, 2/18)
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