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Twin Cities hospitals post decade-high profits in 2009

Pioneer Press, May 13, 2011

Hospitals in the Twin Cities during 2009 enjoyed their largest profits in a decade, according to a report released Thursday. Twenty-seven hospitals in the metro area posted a combined net income of $485.6 million, or 6.5 cents of profit per dollar of revenue in 2009, according to figures from Allan Baumgarten, a healthcare analyst in Bloomington. The previous profit peak for the hospitals came in 2005, when they collectively earned $319 million, said Baumgarten, who publishes annual reports on hospital and health plan finances. The 2009 showing also was a dramatic improvement over 2008, when hospitals in the Twin Cities basically broke even, Baumgarten said. The Minnesota Hospital Association offered a mixed reaction to the report. The association agreed that 2009 was better than 2008 for hospitals. But the trade group's numbers show hospital profitability wasn't unusually high in 2009 when considering financial results for overall hospital systems, which include not just hospitals but also clinics, nursing homes and home health agencies.