The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

October 26, 2013

Reports: Most small state hospitals losing money

A majority of small general hospitals in Oklahoma are losing money, and health care officials warn some hospitals could close, be sold or cut services.

Federal financial reports for nearly every hospital in the state, obtained by Oklahoma Watch and analyzed and reported with the Tulsa World, show in each year from 2009 to 2012, between half and three-fourths of general hospitals with fewer than 100 beds lost money. Most are in small cities or rural areas. More than half posted losses in multiple years.

Larger hospitals fared better. In each year during the four-year period, between 7 percent and 19 percent of general hospitals with 100 beds or more lost money.

The financial strains affecting the state’s more than 70 small general hospitals has many administrators on edge about what happens next. One hospital, Pauls Valley General Hospital, declared bankruptcy earlier this year, although it remains open. Rural health experts and officials say more bankruptcies or even closings could occur.

Profit margins of Oklahoma hospitals

The loss of a hospital in a small community can seriously impede access to health care, as well as hurt the local economy, health officials say.

Nationally, the picture isn’t much brighter. Small non-specialty hospitals are struggling with declining patients, a slow economy and dramatic changes in the health-care industry.

Rural hospitals in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Arizona have closed their doors in recent months, said Brock Slabach, senior vice president of the National Rural Health Association.

“I wish I could say [the situation] is rosy, but it’s not,” Slabach said. “This is not something we’re crying wolf about. This is happening now.”

The financial data on Oklahoma hospitals was obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services via a Freedom of Information Act request, and from the American Hospital Directory, which compiles cost report data.

The federal government requires most hospitals to file cost reports annually. Figures were collected for 120 Oklahoma hospitals from 2007 to 2012, although not all hospitals’ reports were filed each year. Nearly all reports were available for 2009 through 2012.

Text Only
National and world
  • LibyaEvac.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane web.jpg U.S.: Russia is firing artillery across border into Ukraine

    If true, the allegations mean Moscow is playing a more direct role in the fighting than it has been accused of up to now — a dangerous turn in what is already the gravest crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Resilient Stocks web.jpg Global tensions don’t dent U.S. enthusiasm for stocks

    As they have all year, investors responded by using it as an opportunity to buy stocks. In fact, they’ve “bought on the dip” consistently for three years, keeping the market’s slips from becoming slides. Stock pullbacks since 2011 have been rare and relatively small, and none have become severe enough to qualify as a correction, Wall Street parlance for a fall of 10 percent or more from a peak.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama leaders web.jpg Migrants: President Obama urges Latino leaders, Republicans to help

    White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said that House Speaker John Boehner’s effort to sue Obama over his use of executive authority “has opened the door for Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future.”

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast web.jpg Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

    The latest diplomatic setbacks, after several days of high-level diplomacy in the region, signaled that both sides are digging in and that the fighting in Gaza is likely to drag on.
    Israel wants more time to destroy Hamas military tunnels and rocket launching sites in Gaza, while the territory’s Hamas rulers want international guarantees that a Gaza border blockade will be lifted before they cease fire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Hospital Shoo_Hass.jpg Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 25, 2014

  • g000258000000000000245c0063741aaafcc815c5b3199362fb09f8a7c3.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    
Gibson called Diamond City Hall for help but the police chief was out on another call. The city clerk came to join in the surveillance ...

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Severe Weather web.jpg Tornado slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

    A couple from New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent. Their 13-year-old son, in a tent next to them, had life-threatening injuries.
    He was among three dozen people hurt.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aviations Bad Week web.jpg Bad week for aviation: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    Industry analysts and safety experts shake their heads at the seeming randomness of the tragedies, saying they can find no common themes. Nor do they think the events indicate that flying is suddenly becoming less safe.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads