Study shows fiscal health of Virginia hospital industry
A new study issued by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy shows that the overall finances of Virginia hospitals have substantially improved between the numbers published in 2016 and those in December 2017.
The study may be found by clicking here.
Using numbers posted on the Virginia Heath Information website (www.vhi.org ), the Institute compared the figures with those posted in previous years. Those numbers demonstrated that hospital profits increased by 13.86% between 2015 and 2016 (the most recent numbers available) and the net worth of Virginia’s hospitals increased 8.1%.
More important is the bigger picture: Since 2012, hospital profits have risen from $1.58 billion to $2.15 billion, hospital net worth has risen from $14.75 billion to $19.3 billion, and the number of hospitals operating at a deficit has fallen from 42 to 28.
“These are numbers for an industry in a strong financial position,” said Michael Thompson, president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute and author of the study. “Yet, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) continues to vigorously argue that hospitals are need monopoly-type protections provided by Certificate of Public Need laws that limit competition which would lower healthcare costs.
“We don’t question that some hospitals are struggling and our report shows that. But the industry as a whole is doing quite well,” Thompson said. “In all regions of the state, the hospital industry remains profitable, and all regions had increases in their net worth as well. Even the hospitals in Southwest Virginia are doing much better with profits up an incredible 36%.
“Our hospital industry as a whole continues to improve year over year as it has since we started looking at these numbers, starting with those in 2012,” Thompson said. “With hospitals doing so well overall, and healthcare costs continuing to rise, it seems that bringing more competition into the healthcare system makes a lot of sense for our citizens.”