HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that each of the four largest area health systems and hospitals in the Syracuse, New York healthcare market finished 2004 in the black. According to the latest issue of the Syracuse Market Overview, Syracuse hospitals benefited from a 4.5 percent increase in patient volume in 2004, but continued low operating margins leaving them vulnerable to any future cuts in Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements.

Syracuse's four major health systems and hospitals, St Joseph's Hospital Health Center, Crouse Hospital, University Hospital, and Community General Hospital, are all members of the Hospital Executive Council, a cooperative effort to improve hospital operations and quality.

"Syracuse is one of the few markets in New York State to have already 'right sized' local hospital capacity," said Patrick Powers, HealthLeaders- InterStudy senior analyst. "That's due largely to the efforts of the local Hospital Executive Council. But hospital margins are still below the 4 to 6 percent range that's the accepted industry standard a hospital needs to make necessary capital improvements."

Syracuse hospitals have also been feeling market pressure from local physician groups, who have been investing heavily in diagnostic equipment and ambulatory surgery centers, and siphoning off a good share of the lucrative outpatient business.

  Other news about the Syracuse healthcare market:    * Despite attempts by some national insurers to enter the Syracuse     healthcare market, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield continues to hold on     to its dominant 72 percent market share in the area.   * State tightening of eligibility rules has led to a nine percent drop in     Medicaid enrollment in the area.    About Market Overviews 

Market Overviews provides a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

   For more information, contact:     Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562    ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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