Rhode Island hospital finances declined in 2008

The financial performance of Rhode Island's hospitals declined in 2008, according to a new report from the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The Health of Rhode Island's Hospitals (2008) details the financial performance of Rhode Island's 13 hospitals from 2005 to 2008.

While the report found Rhode Island hospitals to be more profitable than other hospitals in the Northeast in 2007, overall, the state's hospitals experienced a 12 percent loss in the net worth in 2008 which was mainly attributable to losses in their investments, not it declines of patient revenue.

Patient revenue increased 6 percent from 2007 to 2008.

The report compares the state's hospitals to other hospitals in the Northeast and to a group of the highest-performing hospitals in the country. It also ranks Rhode Island's individual facilities based on 12 separate measures over four years.

The report also evaluates the financial performance of the two hospital systems (Lifespan and Care New England) as compared to the state's independent hospitals. It shows that the network hospitals performed significantly better than the independent hospitals on most measures.

"These hospitals play a critical role in Rhode Island's healthcare system and have a significant impact on local economies," said David R. Gifford, MD, Rhode Island's Director of Health. "This report underscores the challenges that all of the hospitals are facing in maintaining their financial health in the current economy. In addition, we must continually evaluate how the independent community hospitals fit into Rhode Island's broader healthcare system."