New Hampshire Not-For-Profit Hospitals Financially Sound, Yet Cautious About Future
New Hampshire's 24 not-for-profit hospitals have more cash on hand, were better able to cover their expenses and were in "stronger financial shape" than their counterparts in the rest of New England, a New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services report found. The study is the third in a series of reports on the financial status of the state's health care system. Tracking performance between 1993 and 1999, the third report found New Hampshire not-for-profit hospitals had an average of 240 days cash on hand, compared to the national average of 100 days. In addition, half the hospitals were operating with cash reserves for 300 days in 1999. The report noted a decrease in charity care from more than 2% of gross patient revenue to less than 1.5% between 1994 and 1995. In response to that drop, the report recommends hospitals "review their charitable spending programs relative to their financial performance," Foster's Daily Democrat reports.
Hospitals Prepare for 'Pitfalls'
However, not all New Hampshire hospitals fared well, as 25% did not "break even" for the first time since 1993. In addition, hospital executives are preparing for "potential financial pitfalls." Michelle McEwen, Speare Memorial Hospital of Plymouth administrator, said that a "scarce work force" and compliance with laws on electronic record keeping could be obstacles to hospitals