Forum Session

Margins As Measures: Gauging Hospitals' Financial Health
March 30, 1999


Karen Matherlee


This Forum session examined indicators of hospitals' financial status, in terms of both financial return and financial health. Geared to consideration of the Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) update for fiscal year 2000, the meeting explored PPS's impact on hospitals since the system was implemented as a result of the Social Security Amendments of 1983 as well as the updating provisions in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Several approaches to looking at hospitals' financial status were presented: one that takes into account both inpatient and outpatient services, the indicators used by the Center for Healthcare Industry Performance Studies, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's methodology, and investment bankers' credit measures for both for- and not-for-profit hospitals.


William O. Cleverley, PhD, CPA, President, Center for Health Care Industry Performance Studies; Lawrence S. Goldberg, Director, National Affairs for Health Care, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Stuart Guterman, Principal Research Associate, Urban Institute; Terence M. Mieling, CPA, Director, Healthcare Finance Group, Merrill Lynch

Related Materials

More information available in the accompanying publication, Issue Brief No. 734.

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