Navigation Links
Economic Downturn Taking Toll on Patients and Communities Hospitals Serve: New Survey Finds

Hospitals are cutting services and staff, while more patients are in need of assistance

WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Six out of ten hospitals nationally are seeing a greater proportion of patients without insurance coming through their emergency departments, according to a new survey from the American Hospital Association (AHA). At the same time, nearly half of hospitals reported they have cut staff. Recent employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that hospital employment is no longer growing and that the number of mass layoffs for hospitals reported in February was more than double what it was a year ago.

The majority of hospitals reported that fewer patients are seeking inpatient and elective services; however, many hospitals are seeing more patients covered by Medicaid and other public programs for those in need. Need for hospital-subsidized services such as clinics, screenings and outreach is increasing even as charitable contributions are down for many hospitals.

"Today's findings signal what many of us in health care are concerned about: people put off care when they lose their job, which can complicate health care issues for many down the road," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "At the same time, the fact that hospitals are cutting staff challenges the notion that hospitals are recession-proof."

The survey also found that the economy is affecting hospitals with nine in 10 hospitals making cutbacks to help weather the economic storm. At the same time, more than one in five hospitals reported reducing services their community depends on, such as behavioral health programs, post acute care, clinics and patient education.

"Community need for care remains high and in these tough times, communities turn to their local hospital," Umbdenstock said. "Hospitals are walking a tightrope, trying to balance the growing needs of their communities with today's economic challenges."

Despite taking these steps, the majority of hospitals are seeing a moderate or significant decline in their financial health in 2009 versus the same period in 2008. Many hospitals are struggling to make ends meet with over 40 percent expecting losses in the first quarter of 2009, jeopardizing their mission of caring for their communities. The majority of hospitals reported that fewer patients are seeking inpatient hospital care or elective care, further shrinking the resources hospitals rely on to meet the health needs of their communities. Financial measures such as days cash on hand that are important to creditors are slipping. If key measures fall below a certain level, creditors can require immediate repayment of borrowed money.

Nearly all hospitals report that their ability to borrow funds to make improvements is getting worse or remains challenging. In a December survey, many hospitals reported that it was significantly more difficult or even impossible to access tax-exempt bonds and other sources of capital to make improvements. Nearly eight of 10 hospitals have stopped, postponed or scaled back projects such as facility upgrades as well as clinical and information technology planned or already in progress.

The survey, AHA's second about the economic downturns impact on patients and communities hospitals serve, was sent to all 4,946 community hospitals in March.

1,078 responses were received, broadly representative of the universe of hospitals. A full copy of the report can be found at Video clips of hospital representatives sharing stories of how the economic downturn is affecting their patients and communities can be found on YouTube(TM) at

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations that are committed to health improvement in their communities. The AHA is a national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.

SOURCE American Hospital Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Emerging Markets for Diagnostic Imaging Systems Hurt by Economic Crisis
2. Business, Life Sciences Leaders Launch We Work for Health Economic Development and Jobs Campaign in Washington State
3. Life Sciences Leaders to Launch Statewide We Work for Health Economic Development and Jobs Campaign
4. Medical EMR Software To Be Subdized In Pres. Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan - Lives Can Be Saved As A Result
5. Penny Imaging Exchange, Inc. Outlines the Trend & Economics of Scanning Microfilm
6. Good News for Tough Times: Small, Private University Responds to Todays Economic Challenges
7. DMEC Think Tank Addresses Extreme Productivity in Difficult Economic Environment
8. Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region (News Briefs)
9. DDB Worldwide and M/A/R/C Research Find in Time of Economic Crisis: Health Is the New Wealth, Survey Shows Empowering Patients Is Key to Influence
10. In This Economic Crisis Are You Still a Shopaholic? Dr. April Lane Benson Can Help!
11. Economic Turmoil Creates Boom for Medical Tourism
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... offering factory direct sauna parts and accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve ... the bather’s style and personality. From basic styles for the purist looking for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, ... District Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided ... or former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show through pictures what a ... and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their Facebook, Twitter, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health ... launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents ... cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is ... and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® ... Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the European Cell Surface Marker ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced the ... the United States (U.S.) Food and ... to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes this submission ... FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission using the ... M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major ... at least $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories ... . The expansion will provide additional office ... growing demands of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... will provide up to 40,000 square feet of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: