Profits R Us: Dallas-Fort Worth Hospitals Keep Racking Up the Big Bucks

Hospitals are facing more financial pressure as inpatient stays get shorter, the number of uninsured ticks up and payers push for more value-based care. More than a dozen rural hospitals in Texas have closed since 2010, according to a recent report.But hold the tears for Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals because some are racking up huge profits.HCA Healthcare, the country’s largest hospital system, earned 24 percent profit margins in D-FW in 2017, according to the latest Texas Health Market Review by analyst Allan Baumgarten.That was HCA’s best year ever in North Texas, the report said, and its largest local hospital, Medical City Dallas, earned almost $337 million on a profit margin of 36.6 percent. You read that right — 36.6 percent profit.Two other large hospital systems in the region, Baylor Scott & White Health and Texas Health Resources, also earned double-digit profit margins in 2017.“These averages are among the highest” in the states that he tracks, Baumgarten said.What does that say about the balance of power among health care providers, insurers, employers and regulators?“In Dallas-Fort Worth, the providers have the upper hand in market power,” he said.  Continue reading...

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