All three hospitals in York County took in more money than they spent in 2011, and two beat the state average in that regard.
A study of the fiscal health of Pennsylvania's hospitals was released Thursday and revealed that the gap between income from all sources and hospital expenses -- called the total margin -- increased from 5.26 percent in 2010 to 6.93 percent in 2011.
York Hospital had a total margin of 14.56 percent in 2011 while Hanover Hospital and Memorial Hospital recorded total margins of 9.07 and 0.18 percent, respectively. All of those margins have improved since 2008.
"The financial condition of hospitals over the long term is important because they must be sound and have adequate resources to provide high-quality patient care," said Joe Martin, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4).
Among the report's other findings:
---The level of charity care provided by hospitals grew by $99 million, or 11.2 percent, in 2011.
Hanover Hospital's percentage of uncompensated care was 2.99, with Memorial Hospital at 5.9 percent and York Hospital at 4.3 percent. The statewide average was 2.72 percent.
"We believe we have a very good charitable care policy and we proactively identify people who may be in need of help paying for their care," said Josette Myers, spokesperson for Memorial Hospital.
She said that their vol-
umes are improving, and one way that is happening is with their new Da Vinci Si Surgical System for robotic surgeries.
"We have a number of surgeons who have been trained to perform robotic surgeries and that has helped to rebuild some of our lost volume," Myers said.
Memorial's financial outlook is good, and their new building will add even more services, Myers said.
Hanover Hospital spokesperson Lisa Duffy said that it had a solid operating margin for 2011, and a higher than average return on investments.
"It is important to have a positive margin so that the hospital can reinvest in itself for technology, new services and recruitment efforts," Duffy said.
Last year, WellSpan provided more than $18 million in free care and more than $23 million in services that were not reimbursed, said Barry Sparks, spokesperson for WellSpan, which includes York Hospital. WellSpan supports programs like the HealthConnect mobile health program, which takes basic primary care and other services into urban and rural areas, said Sparks.
---Between 2008 and 2011, net patient revenue grew by 7.69 percent at York Hospital to $793 million, by 2.77 percent at Memorial Hospital to $102 million, and by 6.72 percent at Hanover Hospital to $138 million.
The statewide net patient revenue rose from $31.5 billion in 2008 to $36.35 billion in 2011.
"The improved financial picture, after several years of decline during the national economic downturn, is a positive sign," Martin said. "However, the rising cost to hospitals of providing uncompensated care bears watching."
The report included only general acute care hospitals and covered the period from July 1, 2010, to June 30 of last year.
The PHC4 is an independent state agency that collects and analyzes information to improve the quality and limit the cost of health care in Pennsylvania. Volume one of the 2011 financial analysis is available free online at www.phc4.org.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or email@example.com.