The American Hospital Association and the Healthcare Financial Management Association both released survey results indicating that hospitals are struggling more than ever to find credit and are delaying capital spending in response.
Hospital executives reported in both surveys that debt is more expensive and less available. In the HFMA survey, which had a 19% response rate, nearly 80% of the 309 respondents said that they expected to cut back on information and medical technology spending in the next three to six months, and 72% said that they expected to cut back on new construction expenditures. More than half of the responses in the last category reported a hold on new construction projects.
The AHA said that 45% of the 639 respondents to its survey said that they already had postponed capital projects that were planned to start within six months. That percentage included 13% of respondents who halted projects already in progress. The survey, conducted in late December 2008 through Jan. 6, 2009, had nearly a 13% response rate and was a representative mix of nonfederal hospitals in terms of geography, size, urban vs. rural and ownership type, according to the AHA. -- by Vince Galloro