How healthy were hospital finances in 2016?

Our analysis of financial information from Swiss hospitals reveals that too many acute hospitals are not yet profitable enough.

The Swiss healthcare sector is increasingly dynamic and competition-driven, with growing economic incentives.

Our analysis of financial information from Swiss hospitals reveals that too many acute hospitals are not yet profitable enough. On average the situation at psychiatric care facilities looks slightly better. Against this backdrop, many hospitals and clinics face major challenges when it comes to funding investments in the long term. Added to this is the fact that new healthcare delivery models, changing roles and digital technology will come to dominate the healthcare landscape as we approach 2030. Hospitals will have to be agile and open to innovation to be able to withstand this pressure and flourish.

Download an excerpt of the study here.

Swiss hospitals in a process of radical change

  • While Swiss acute hospitals continue to post sales growth in line with previous years, profitability in terms of median EBITDA margin has shrunk slightly to 5.5%. This margin is still too narrow, and raises the pressure on hospitals to improve the structure of their earnings.
  • With substantial investments coming up, many players in healthcare face the challenge of developing a comprehensive financing approach. They need to make solid plans for the future in all areas, culminating in a robust business plan. Refinancing is also increasingly relevant.
  • As 2016 growth rates demonstrate in impressive fashion, hospitals continue to prioritise outpatient over inpatient care. While the uncertainty created by the Federal Council’s adjustments to the Tarmed tariffs is a challenge, hospitals and psychiatric facilities should not let this distract them from their long-term plans. They can increase their future room for manoeuvre by building as much flexibility as possible into upcoming projects.
  • New delivery and operating models are resulting in new roles in healthcare, while digitalisation is transforming old roles and models or making them obsolete. Healthcare delivery will evolve into a hub and spoke model, with closely coordinated central and satellite hospitals offering services matching the level of care required in each case. In the future, treatment paths will be transparent and digitally supported end to end, with patients playing an active role in the process.

 

Thomas Brack, Hospital Director, Spital Limmattal
Our business plan is one of our key management instruments. It builds trust among our funding bodies and gives our employees confidence in their management. If you’re the one bearing responsibility, a robust business plan also increases your chances of a good night’s sleep.

Thomas Brack, Hospital Director, Spital Limmattal

Isabelle Lehn, Head of Nursing Care, CHUV
These days patients are equal partners who can make informed medical decisions thanks to the choices they have and the information they get from medical professionals.

Isabelle Lehn, Head of Nursing Care, CHUV


Prof. Rebecca Spirig, Director of Nursing Care and Vocational Training, University Hospital Zurich
It’s crucial that we initiate a dialogue between the generations and are open to addressing the needs of younger generations within our organisation.

Prof. Rebecca Spirig, Director of Nursing Care and Vocational Training, University Hospital Zurich

David J. Bosshard, CEO, Clienia Group
In the future the pre- and post-treatment business model will be digitalised, involving digital channels much more frequently.

David J. Bosshard, CEO, Clienia Group

Interactive study findings

Here you’ll find detailed evaluations of our study in interactive format, optimised for desktop and tablet.

 

Contact:

Patrick Schwendener, CFA

Director, Leiter Deals Gesundheitswesen, Zürich, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 15 08

Email

Philip Sommer

Partner, Leiter Beratung Gesundheitswesen, Bern, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 75 28

Email

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