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Healthcare Jobs in Rhode Island See Financial Decline

Posted on August 31, 2009

Those with healthcare jobs in Rhode Island may be affected by the information released in a new report.

The Rhode Island Department of Health recently released The Health of Rhode Island’s Hospitals, a report that details the financial performance of the state’s 13 hospitals from 2005 to 2008. The report found that even though Rhode Island hospitals were more profitable than others in the Northeast in 2007, the financial performance of local hospitals declined during 2008.

Overall, hospitals in Rhode Island saw a 12 percent loss in net worth during 2008, which can mostly be attributed to losses in their investments as opposed to declines in patient revenue. In fact, 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 found Newport Hospital, Bradley Hospital and Butler Hospital to be the state’s top-performing facilities. The report also evaluated the financial performance of Lifespan and Care New England, the two hospital systems, to the independent hospitals. The results found 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,” Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH, said. “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.”

The healthcare industry is one of Rhode Island’s most stable, and the industry overall is often considered to be recession-proof. During July, the state’s education and health services industry employed 99,500 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 99,900 workers during June and the same as last year.

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