By the end of last year the United States spent nearly 50% more than the next-highest spender on health care, spending the equivalent of more than $9,000 per person per year. This cost crisis has led to several emerging trends across the industry. Healthcare organizations are making changes to nearly every aspect of their business in order to stay on top of rising costs and the higher demand for quality services.
Hospitals are seeing attrition in profits for the first time since 2008, due in large part to rapidly rising expenses. Not only are profits growing slower than expenses, the growth is less a result of an increase in patient volume, and more from higher payments from state provider fee programs and the federal meaningful-use incentive program. Of course those factors that helped to increase profits also contributed to a further increase in operating expenses.