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BRIEFLY

January 29, 1988

Hospitals that treat Medicare patients saw their profits from that care decline sharply during 1986-87, to $3.6 billion from $4.9 billion in the previous year, a Health and Human Services Department official says. Overall, the profit margin for Medicare patient treatment fell to 9.6% in 1986-87 from 14.4% in 1985-86. That worked out to an average decline of 31% for each of the 5,288 hospitals participating in the system, to $687,203 from $992,831. Before 1984, hospitals gained no profits whatever from the treatment of Medicare patients.

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