In the other bastion of not-for-profit healthcare, hospital profits are up.
The overall profit margin of all Iowa hospitals climbed to 6.3% in 1995 from 5.9% the year before, according to a recent report.
Operating margins stayed level at 4.8% from 1994 to 1995, according to the report by the Association of Iowa Hospitals and Health Systems.
The operating margins of rural hospitals in Iowa actually dropped a bit to 4.3% in 1995 from 4.4% in 1994. But urban and rural-referral hospitals saw gains in their overall operating margins, and all three categories of hospitals reported increases in their overall margins (See chart).
The data come from the American Hospital Association's annual survey of its members. It covers 116 Iowa hospitals, 89 of which are rural. And, according to the AHA's latest data, only one of those 116 acute-care hospitals is a for-profit facility.
MODERN HEALTHCARE adjusted the reported margins to reflect an error in the listing of rural-referral 194-bed Samaritan Health System in Clinton. Samaritan's profit appears as $23.1 million in the Iowa report because its expenses were understated. The system said its actual 1995 profit was $4.7 million.
In absolute terms, Iowa hospitals' overall profit rose 14.4% to $207.4 million in 1995, after the data are adjusted for Samaritan. The growth rate in overall profit margins was slower, however, at 6.8%.
The biggest earner in 1995 by overall profit margin was rural 29-bed Audubon (Iowa) County Memorial Hospital at 18.1%.