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NJHA: Hospital Finances Show Troubling Trends
Date:11/25/2008

Ryan. "It's truly troubling to think that this is the foundation from which our healthcare facilities entered our new economic struggles. A serious situation is rapidly turning critical."

In another key finding, the 2007 data shows that the average age of hospitals' facilities - known as the "age of plant" indicator - remains relatively unchanged at 11.57 years for 2007. That figure has increased 12 percent since 2003, signaling a slowdown in capital improvements as hospitals cling to their cash reserves. The state's Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources has reported that New Jersey's hospital facilities are on average 30 percent older than the national average.

According to Sean Hopkins, senior vice president of health economics for NJHA, the steep decrease in 2007 total margins leaves hospitals with little means to increase staff, improve facilities or purchase new equipment, which could impact quality of care and access.

"Many of New Jersey's hospitals sustained a loss in their 2007 margins, and with the current healthcare climate, hospitals will have to look for new ways to sustain themselves. Additional hospital closures are a very real prospect in the wake of aging plants, reduced revenues and - in this economy - a growing number of individuals who are losing healthcare insurance coverage," said Hopkins.

Based in Princeton, NJHA has been providing its 115 members with advocacy, information, research and education since 1918.


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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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