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Report Finds Colorado Hospitals have Highest Profit Margins in Country, Translating to Increased Prices for Payers, Patients

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According to a report released last week by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), Colorado hospitals have the highest profit margins in the country, writes State of Reform.  The department says these high profits ultimately translate to increased prices for payers and patients.

The department evaluated the Medicare Cost Report Data for Colorado’s hospitals from 2009 to 2018 — the most recent year for which this data is available.

Since the report only included hospitals with 25 or more beds, most rural hospitals were excluded. HCPF nonetheless emphasizes that these facilities — contrary to the urban hospitals included in the report — are “ripe for investment” and in-need of resources.

According to HCPF, some Colorado hospitals use high costs, or their hospital-only operating expenses, to justify raising prices for payers. State hospital costs have increased at a higher rate than the national average over the past decade. In 2018, HCPF estimates Colorado hospitals’ operating costs were $1.3 billion above the national median.

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