Healthcare Council’s most recent Flash Survey shows continuing trends for the region’s acute care hospitals including trends in loss from operations; increases in observation cases and increases in uncompensated care. The recently released Flash Survey for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 reflects data from 60 hospitals in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia and covers the three months ending September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2019.
More than half of the region’s hospitals reported a loss from operations this year and last year. In 2018, 36 hospitals (60 percent), reported a loss in operations and in 2019, 31 hospitals (52 percent), reported a loss in operations.
Observation cases grew by more than 5 percent from the prior year and now represents more than 29 percent of the combined volume of inpatient and observation cases. Uncompensated care increased $5.7 million, or 2.1 percent over the prior year.
Hospitals with fewer than 100 beds (representing 26 of the 60 reporting hospitals) had a negative operating margin of 3.25 percent in the first quarter of 2020, compared to a negative 4.45 percent in the first quarter of 2019.