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H1N1 cases could threaten hospital profits

Chicago Tribune, October 22, 2009

While it's common for hospitals to see a revenue boost at the onset of seasonal influenza season, the additional threat of cases from the H1N1 swine flu virus could complicate the financial picture for health facilities. The hospital industry will most likely see a "positive" with better cash flow and revenue growth, said a report issued by Moody's Investors Service, which tracks the nonprofit hospital sector. But with hospitals seeing more uninsured patients and poor people covered by the lower-paying state Medicaid health insurance programs, a boon could "turn negative if pandemic levels of flu develop," in the U.S., according to Moody's.