COVID-19 Hit More than Just Local Patients and Families; Hospital Finances Ailed, Too

Hospital profitability 2020 Bucks County
Image via Saint Luke's University Health System.
Saint Luke's University Health System, Quakertown campus.

COVID-19’s influence on hospital finances across the state is evident in light of analyses by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PCH4). Operating margins across the Commonwealth decreased by 1.89 basis points. 

Joe Martin, PCH4 executive director, commented: “Many hospitals will face serious financial challenges as Pennsylvania works to mitigate the fiscal impact of the epidemic.”  

Bucks County hospital performance, measured by operating margins, represented few gains and some considerable losses. The study defined operating margins as patient-care revenue minus related expenses. 

Saint Luke’s Upper Bucks, Quakertown, fared best. Its 9.19 percent operating margin handily outdid the statewide average of 3.73 percent. But the figure is nearly three percent lower than the same statistic for 2018-2020. 

Saint Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, saw an operating margin gain of just .51 percent, well below the statewide average of 3.73 percent. The financial performance of Doylestown Hospital was similar (in the black but not by much) at a mere .15 percent. 

Grand View and Lower Bucks didn’t perform as well, with operating margins of –5.83 percent and –8.89 percent, respectively. 

The PCH4 study did not yet examine the performance of ambulatory surgery centers or non-general acute hospitals. Those analyses are coming from PCH4 later in the year. 

Statewide performance figures are at PCH4

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