This morning’s Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) from the Census Bureau showed 2015 was a good year for revenue growth in health services. Overall, fourth quarter revenue grew 1.8 percent on the quarter, 3.7 percent from Q4 2014, and 5.5 percent year on year (Table I).
Revenue growth in psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals really blew the doors off in Q4, increasing 8.2 percent. However, this looks idiosyncratic. Q4 2014 to Q4 2015 growth was only 1.6 percent, and year on year growth was 4.0 percent.
Outpatient care centers and home health services were strong in Q4, growing revenue by at least three percent. Annual growth was also strong.
With respect to profit margins, it looks like the collapse in profitability for tax-exempt hospitals in the previous QSS was idiosyncratic – or even a data glitch. Net revenue per inpatient day and per discharge both grew by almost six percent; and taxable hospitals performed marginally better than that (Table II).
For tax-exempt hospitals, net revenue per patient day increased 3.2 percent year on year; while net revenue per discharge increased 4.0 percent. The increase in both measurements was over 10 percent for taxable hospitals.
It looks like health services providers are doing quite well under Obamacare.