Data on Both Urban and Rural Hospitals
This table includes information on urban and rural hospitals that were operating in 2021. Financial data shown are from the Medicare Cost Report filed in the most recent fiscal year available. The table can be sorted by clicking the arrows next to each column heading. The data can be restricted to a specific state or hospital or to hospitals within a specific range of expenses or margins using the filtering boxes.
Rural vs Urban. A hospital is classified here as “rural” if it is located in a rural community that meets the criteria established by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). (Different definitions of “rural” are used by other federal agencies and some states.) Under the HRSA definition, a community is rural if it is either:
Inpatient Beds is the maximum number of patients the hospital is licensed to treat on an inpatient basis at any one time. (The number of patients typically receiving inpatient services on any given day will be much lower than the number of beds. )
Payment Method indicates the method Medicare used to pay the hospital in the most recent fiscal year.
FY Ending is the ending month of the most recent hospital fiscal year for which a 12-month Medicare Cost Report is available.
Total Expenses shows the total annual expenses incurred by the hospital, based on the most recent Medicare Cost Report available. This is a better way of assessing the relative size of the hospital than the number of inpatient beds, since annual expenses includes both the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient services.
The Patient Services Margin represents the profit or loss from revenues and costs associated with health care services delivered to patients, based on the most recent Medicare Cost Report available.
The Total Margin includes all revenues and costs in the most recent year, including those that are not directly tied to patient care as well as revenues and expenses on patient services.
Many hospitals have a positive total margin despite incurring losses on patient services because they receive revenues from investments, other businesses, local tax revenues, state grants, or federal grants that offset the losses. If these other sources of revenue were to decrease or be terminated, the hospital might no longer have revenues sufficient to cover its costs.
Financial margins reported in fiscal years that ended after March 2020 and before June 2021 will generally differ significantly from earlier years because they include the initial months of the pandemic when some of the biggest impacts on hospital costs and revenues occurred. Total margins increased for many hospitals in both 2020 and 2021 because of the receipt of special federal assistance during the pandemic.
Additional details on the methodology used to calculate the margins are available in the Methodology section.