|By Matthew Nojiri, Reading Eagle, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
However, they cautioned that things can shift quickly in the era of health care reform, declining state reimbursements and an increase in people who need care but can't afford it.
"Everything is changing and the rules are changing," said
Operating margin is the percentage of operating revenue left after paying the expenses of running the hospital.
St. Joseph earned
"We have to pay attention to our financial operations and we do," said St. Joseph spokesman
Charity care and unpaid patient bills increased 5 percent in 2013 to more than
The report indicated about half the hospitals in the state have financial margins that are too low to be sustainable.
The containment council says hospitals need to have a total margin -- which considers all revenue sources like trusts and investments -- above 4 percent to be sustainable.
Part of that effort led the health system to join an alliance last year with six others in
"We're committed to remaining agile," Sucher said. "We're committed to remaining as well-informed as possible and working with the community to understand what the needs are and to fulfill those needs in a cost-effective way."
When it comes to finances, Jupina said the expansion of
"I think things continue to be tentative, and you never know what's going to come down next," Jupina said. "Until
"What's important to us and what's driving us is to provide that high-quality care at a low cost."
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