The Perils Facing Public Hospitals

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<p>Prior to the recent recession, the finances of public safety-net hospitals were in surprisingly good shape. But new research published by <em>Health Affairs</em> finds that the future—at least in the near term—may not be quite so bright. </p><p>According to the Commonwealth Fund–supported study, "<a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/aug/strained-local-and-state-government-finances-among-current">Strained Local and State Government Finances Among Current Realities That Threaten Public Hospitals' Profitability,</a>" which was led by Harvard University’s Nancy Kane, safety-net hospitals that are directly governed by elected officials and in highly competitive markets have significantly higher operating margins than more politically independent safety-net institutions. But with government subsidies set to shrink as public finances are squeezed and calls for deficit reduction grow louder, hospitals currently relying on politically negotiated funding may need to revamp their business strategies. Read more on <a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/aug/strained-local-and-state-government-finances-among-current"></a>. </p>