Charity care, research, employment decline at hospitals

Hospitals in Southeastern Pennsylvania provided $142.6 million in financial assistance and charity care in the year ended June 30, 2012, down from $146 million the year before, the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council said.

Research spending, which is dominated by the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia fell to $793 million from $850 million, as federal cuts to the National Institutes of Health took their toll, DVHC reported in its annual assessment of the hospital sector's economic impact.

Employment at hospitals in the five-county region fell to 98,400 in 2012 from 99,300 in 2011. Financial conditions for hospitals have not gotten any easier, as they are absorbing $280 million in federal cuts last year and this year, DVHC said. - Harold Brubaker