2009 AHA Policy Research

AHA research reports examine key issues to inform the policy making process.  These include the TrendWatch series, a periodic AHA publication that reports on the latest trends affecting hospitals and the health care system (now conducted in collaboration with Avalere Health* www.avalerehealth.net), as well as other AHA sponsored studies.  


Uncompensated Hospital Care Cost Fact Sheet (pdf), November 2009
Each year, the American Hospital Association (AHA) publishes aggregate information on the level of uncompensated care delivered in U.S. hospitals. The data used to generate these numbers come from the AHA’s Annual Survey of Hospitals, which is the nation’s single most comprehensive source of hospital financial data. This fact sheet provides the definition of uncompensated care and technical information on how this figure is calculated on a cost basis. It also describes how the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) accounting changes to bad debt and free care are currently handled in the Survey to ensure continuity of uncompensated care numbers.

Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid Fact Sheet (pdf), November 2009
Each year, the American Hospital Association (AHA) collects aggregate information on the payments and costs associated with care delivered to beneficiaries of Medicare and Medicaid by U.S. hospitals. The data used to generate these numbers comes from the AHA’s Annual Survey of Hospitals, which is the nation’s single most comprehensive source of hospital financial data. This fact sheet provides the definition of underpayment and technical information on how this figure is calculated on a cost basis for Medicare and Medicaid.


Even as Reform Takes Center Stage, Economic Challenges Remain (pdf), November 2009 
Hospitals report that the economic downturn is having a continuing impact.  Hospitals are seeing a greater proportion of patients without insurance coming through their emergency departments and more than half have reduced staff, according to an August/September 2009 survey of hospitals.  The majority of hospitals reported that fewer patients are seeking inpatient and elective services, while the proportion covered by Medicaid and other public programs for those in need is increasing.  The AHA Annual Survey found that financial performance for 2008 was down significantly relative to 2007.  While the more recent survey results indicate some improvement, challenges clearly remain.

  Full Survey Results (pdf)

  Chartpack (ppt)
 

Teaching Hospitals: Their Impact on Patients and the Future Health Care Workforce (pdf), TrendWatch, September 2009
Teaching hospitals train future health care professionals, conduct medical research and fulfill a distinct and vital role in delivering patient care.  Preserving these roles in a reformed health care system is critical especially as the U.S. faces a future shortage of physicians and other caregivers.

 Chartpack 

The Economic Crisis: The Toll on the Patients and Communities Hospitals Serve (pdf), April 2009
Six out of ten hospitals nationally are seeing a greater proportion of patients without insurance coming through their emergency departments and nearly half have reduced staff according to a March 2009 survey of hospitals.  The majority of hospitals reported that fewer patients are seeking inpatient and elective services, while the proportion covered by Medicaid and other public programs for those in need is increasing.  The financial health of hospitals is declining with over 40 percent expecting losses in the first quarter of 2009. 

 Chartpack (ppt)

 Press Release
 

Report on the Capital Crisis: Impact on Hospitals (pdf), January 2009
More and more, hospitals are stopping or postponing "shovel-ready projects" that would not only improve community health care, but also increase jobs and support the local economy, according to a new survey from the American Hospital Association.  The survey showed that hospitals' ability to obtain the necessary funds to upgrade their facilities or invest in new clinical and information technologies is severely restricted due to the "capital crunch" and the recession. 

 PowerPoint version of the report (ppt)
 Press Release
 

The Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Hospitals (pdf), TrendWatch, January 2009
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy has been in recession since December 2007, and many fear the worst may be yet to come. In December 2008, 524,000 jobs were lost,2 sending the jobless rate to 7.2 percent,3 which marks a 16-year high. 1.9 million jobs have been lost in this country since September alone. This sharp rise in unemployment has been accompanied by losses of employer-sponsored health insurance.

 Chartpack (ppt)
 

Beyond Health Care: The Economic Contribution of Hospitals (pdf), January 2009 Update
In 2007, America’s hospitals treated 121 million people in their emergency departments, provided care for 603 million outpatients, performed 27 million surgeries, and delivered 4 million babies. Every year, hospitals provide vital health care services like these to millions of people in thousands of communities. However, the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care.

 

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