Our story from Sunday about a study on hospital profits looked at medical centers in the Upper Midwest that ranked among the highest earners in the country.
Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisc. ranked No. 1 in the report. The top 100 included medical centers in Rochester, Duluth and Sioux Falls, although hospitals uniformly panned the study's methodology.
How did Minnesota hospitals perform overall?
Researcher Ge Bai of Washington and Lee University said the study included data from 42 nonprofit hospitals in Minnesota. The median profit in 2013 at those hospitals was $2.3 million, Bai said, for a profit margin of 2 percent.
Across the nation, the median nonprofit hospital posted a loss of $1.4 million, she said, for margin of -1 percent.
Like hospitals quoted in our story, the Minnesota Hospital Association issued a sharp statement last week saying the report published in the journal Health Affairs was misleading.
The hospital association argued: "The data reflect primarily hospital-only data. Almost every Minnesota hospital is one element of a health care provider organization that offers other care delivery services, such as clinical services, nursing home or long-term care, or ambulance services, for example."
It went on to say: "In Minnesota’s vertically integrated health systems that deliver nursing, physician, lab, transportation, inpatient and outpatient, and a host of other services, hospital margins most often cross-subsidize other patient care and services that benefit our communities but do not generate enough revenue to cover their costs of operation."