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Fact File

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Hospital Financial Trends

HealthLeaders magazine, August 13, 2014

The median fiscal and operational performance of U.S. hospitals over the past year remained relatively flat, despite expectations to the contrary. The data spans a four-year period from 2009Q4 to 2013Q4. Overall, hospitals saw flat or no growth in utilization, but major teaching hospitals saw steady utilization growth. Among the other trends:

  • Outpatient charges are increasing as a percentage of total charges
  • Hospitals have been able to control margins by managing costs
  • Hospital margins have recovered since 2011 and have regained historic levels
  • 25% of all hospitals had negative margins
  • Hospitals control labor and supply expenses better than other operating expenses
  • All components of supply expense have been well-controlled
  • Average age of the plant continues to increase

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Health System Performance

HealthLeaders magazine, June 13, 2014

The Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems® in the United States outperform their peers by demonstrating balanced excellence—operating effectively across all functional areas of their organizations. Investigating the winner and nonwinner data from this study is a useful way to see how the nation’s health and the industry's bottom lines could be improved. For apples-to-apples comparisons, the 15 Top Health Systems were placed into size categories by total operating expense: large (>$1.5 billion),medium ($750 million–$1.5 billion), and small (<$750 million).

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Trends in Physician Demand

HealthLeaders magazine, May 13, 2014

Truven Health Analytics research shows that physician productivity among those in Generation X (ages 34–49 in 2014) and the Millennial Generation (ages 18–33) is significantly less than the average productivity of retiring Baby Boomer physicians (ages 50–68). Replacing a Baby Boomer internist will require 1.6 younger physicians, while replacing a Baby Boomer pediatrician will require 2.0 younger physicians. Physician demand planning calls for staffing based on productivity, and organizations can’t assume that productivity will be the same from one physician to another. For this study, six markets that have different characteristics were selected from across the United States, including a range of city populations: San Francisco (825,863) and Sacramento (457,516) in California, which has highly managed payer and provider systems; Boston (636,479) in Massachusetts, where the legislature approved PPACA-like programs in 2006; Austin (842,592) and San Antonio (1,382,951) in Texas, which chose to not implement Medicaid expansion under PPACA; and Chicago (2,714,856) in Illinois, which chose to implement Medi-caid expansion under PPACA.

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