COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Data posted online for South Carolina's 60 acute-care hospitals shows a wide disparity in their financial health, with bottom lines ranging from a four-year loss of $96 million to a combined profit of $223 million.
The state's Medicaid agency put the data on its website Thursday morning in an effort to encourage fact-based discussions about an industry at the center of the health care debate. Director Tony Keck told The Associated Press he wanted legislators and the public to have access to the information as the debate over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility under the federal health care law moves to the Senate.
The spreadsheets show the hospitals posted a combined profit from 2008 to 2011 of $2.6 billion. But size and geography matter; 17 rural hospitals posted losses.
For more information, visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.