2. A sad trombone for hospitals
Money is getting tighter at not-for-profit hospitals, based on new numbers from the ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. The median operating cash flow margin — or hospitals' profit margin before factoring in variables like depreciation — was 8.1% in 2017.
Why it matters: That profit measure “fell below levels seen during the 2008–09 recession,” Moody’s said in a report.
Why it's happening: Hospitals are spending a ton on new hires and new technology. More patients have government insurance, which pays less than job-based insurance. And more services are being delivered on an outpatient basis.
Yes, but: As Bob reported late last year, hospitals are still doing quite well overall as they merge into bigger conglomerates and cash in their Wall Street investments.