Hospital profit margins remained relatively flat in 2002, while emergency room visits and admissions continued to rise, according to the American Hospital Association's annual survey of the nation's hospitals.
The aggregate hospital profit margin was 4.3% in 2002, compared with 4.1% in the previous year, according to the report, Hospital Statistics 2004. The AHA survey was mailed to all hospitals and had a response rate of approximately 83%.
While income remained steady, hospitals continued to see increases in patient volume. Admissions rose 2% to 34.1 million, while the total aggregate of inpatient days grew 2%.
Emergency room visits increased 4% to 110 million. The average length of stay remained unchanged at 5.1 days. -- by Patrick Reilly