Hospitals continued to gain strength financially in 1993, according to MODERN HEALTHCARE's Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
The index, prepared by HCIA, a Baltimore-based healthcare research firm, provides the most up-to-date quarterly information on key financial indicators affecting the nation's hospitals.
The indicators are gathered from Medicare cost reports filed by hospitals whose fiscal years ended between Jan. 31 and June 30, 1993. Those figures are compared with information filed by the same hospitals in the previous year. This quarter's report includes data from 1,836 hospitals.
Despite continuing drops in length of stay and discharges, hospitals' balance sheets remained strong, the report indicates.
Total profit margins increased to 4.64%, compared with 4.48% in the previous period. In addition, operating profit margins increased to 3.04%, compared with 2.96%, HCIA reported.
Hospitals also showed a marked increase in outpatient business. The hospitals reported 34% of their revenues were generated by outpatient services, an 8.5% jump from the previous year.