cash flow, financial distress, financial strength index, hospital



  1. Kim, Tae Hyun PhD


Financial distress can have a detrimental influence on the performance of hospitals. Hospital management needs to monitor potential financial distress effectively and know how it will respond depending on the severity of the circumstances. This study examined the multiple factors that may explain the financial distress of nonprofit hospitals during 1998 to 2001 and discussed their importance. To obtain more robust results, financial distress was assessed in 2 ways: first, financial strength index was used to incorporate 4 financial dimensions including profitability, liquidity, leverage, and physical facilities; second, cash flow (CF) was used to address the issues of accrual-based accounting in hospitals. This study finds that decrease in occupancy rate and increase in Medicaid payer mix, health maintenance organization penetration, market competition, physician supply, and percentage of the elderly are associated with increased likelihood of financial distress of urban hospitals. Increases in both Medicare and Medicaid payer mix, however, are related to higher likelihood of financial distress of rural hospitals.