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For-profit hospitals making more money, with a stable forecast
Modern Healthcare

As hospitals around the country continue to consolidate and streamline operations, a leaner healthcare industry is also becoming a more profitable one.

Moody’s Investors Service Monday said there’s a stable outlook for the future of the U.S. for-profit hospital sector.

The industry is benefiting from the expansion of insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and overall, expects growth of about 3% to 3.5% over the next 12 to 18 months, Moody’s said in their report.

Lower bad-debt expenses will continue to benefit hospitals’ operating results, the report stated, and the number of uninsured individuals will decrease as insurance coverage expands under the ACA.  According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey released this month, the percentage of uninsured people in the U.S. dropped below 10% this year for the first time in decades. The 31 states including the District of Columbia that have already expanded their Medicaid programs have seen the greatest reductions in bad debt expense, and other states will keep benefiting from increased awareness of coverage options, Moody’s said.