Case Management

CMW News: Iowa hospitals struggle in hard economic times

Case Management Weekly, March 18, 2009

The Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) reports declines in service areas and increases in charity care for Iowa hospitals. Considering all factors, Iowa hospitals’ overall margins have fallen from 5.5% in 2007 to -9.6% at the end of 2008.

Kirk Norris, the President and CEO of the IHA, comments that, unlike other businesses, hospitals must provide their services 24 hours a day every day, despite their customers’ inability to pay.

Another factor contributing to the hospitals’ economic hardships, according to the IHA, are reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid. These programs together make up about 60% of Iowa hospital revenue, and in 2008 Iowa hospitals lost more than $275 million to the two programs.

Hospitals are among the largest employers in the counties where they are located, and Norris calls for the government to take a close look at the burden programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are placing on them.

Source: Iowa Hospital Association

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