Cost and Coverage

In a new era of health reform, access to care, insurance coverage, and health care costs are top priorities for health care providers and decision-makers alike. Essential hospitals, in particular, may feel unique pressures in these areas given the high demand of their vulnerable patient population, many of whom are under- or uninsured. In fact, the aggregate operating margin of our hospitals was about half that of other U.S. hospitals in 2016.1

Essential Hospitals Aggregate Operating Margin, 2016

margins graphicEssential Hospitals Institute investigates these issues through qualitative and quantitative research to support members of America’s Essential Hospitals as they address cost and coverage within their hospitals and communities. In addition, the Institute works closely with America’s Essential Hospitals’ advocacy and policy departments to provide comprehensive data to policymakers on these and other related issues.


1. Roberson B. Ramiah K, Essential Data: Our Hospitals, Our Patients; Results of America’s Essential Hospitals 2016 Annual Member Characteristics Survey. America’s Essential Hospitals. June 2018.