Healthier than reported?
The June 9 article "Council report differs from tax returns" provides an inaccurate description of hospital financial data published by Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, or PHC4.
The article indicates that PHC4 uses "partial information submitted by the hospitals." To the contrary, income and losses reflected in PHC4's report include all applicable revenues and expenses. The data are derived directly from hospitals' annual financial statements prepared by independent auditors.
The reason PHC4's data for Frick and Westmoreland Regional hospitals differ from the numbers supplied to the IRS, and reported in the article, is that the IRS data reflect the entire Westmoreland Health System, while PHC4 data are specific to Frick and Westmoreland hospitals.
Finally, the article attributes the $13 million loss figure to PHC4's report. The losses actually reported by PHC4 were $3.9 million for Frick and $1.5 million for Westmoreland Regional -- a combined $5.4 million loss.
PHC4 goes to great lengths to ensure that its reports provide an accurate reflection of Pennsylvania's hospital-based health care delivery system. It is disappointing this was not reflected in the article.
The writer is communications director for the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council .