The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council released its latest report, “Volume One: General Acute Care Hospitals.” The council releases three “volumes” annually looking at different aspects of cost and outcomes for hospitals and medical facilities. This report focuses on “general acute care hospitals, with particular focus on two measures that can help show a hospital’s financial health: The operating margin (the percent of money left over after all operating costs are paid), and the total margin (a similar figure that includes income other than operating expenses, such as money from a gift shop). The report notes that while many factors can impact the two margins, lower margins can be a sign of financial stress. If a hospital has a negative margin, it is not taking in enough money to cover expenses and must find money elsewhere.
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