Financial Structure and Performance of Rhode Island's Hospitals and Health Systems Study

Ensuring accessible and high-quality health care for Rhode Islanders requires a stable delivery system. Given that, there is a need to establish and communicate baseline information about the financial structure and performance of that system, of which the state’s hospitals and health systems are a key component. While various sources of data are available, the information ecosystem is fragmented, and these sources are rarely synthesized.

The regular collection and dissemination of this information is, ultimately, a core responsibility of state government. Previous work inventorying the state regulatory framework, which oversees the core delivery system in Rhode Island, pointed to structural challenges and a lack of sufficient investment that was limiting the state’s ability to carry out this role. Recent investments in state health planning and Governor McKee’s recent Executive Order forming a State Health System Planning Cabinet, are important steps forward.

As a proactive step, the Foundation commissioned a study by Manatt Health focused on the financial performance and structure of the state’s hospitals and health systems. This study is a compilation of publicly available data that also compares trends with Massachusetts and Connecticut. The study was also supported by funding partners Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Care New England, Lifespan, and South County Health.

Download the study here.

Review data sources and methodology here.

The study intentionally does not suggest or offer policy recommendations. It is also important to note that the study is not a review of the entire health care delivery system, and there are questions that cannot be answered via the existing publicly sourced data that were used to inform this work.

Nevertheless, it is our goal that this fact base will inform discussion by policymakers and advocates now and moving forwards. This study can also provide a core model for state government partners for the type of regular reporting on the financial structure and performance of Rhode Island’s hospitals and health systems. Finally, this study can be used as a foundation for a deeper review of financial performance and structure across the full spectrum of services within our health care system that is urgently needed, helping to ensure that Rhode Island’s health care delivery system can provide the level of services that all Rhode Islander’s need and deserve.