Where Do Medical Records Fall in Hospital Expenditures?

March 4, 2013


Billian's HealthDATA recently studied general-service expenditures (sourced from CMS and integrated into in the Billian's HealthDATA Portal) on 5,641 U.S. hospitals to examine where Medical Records departments and libraries tend to fall in hospital expense share across general-service departments.

Looking at the market collectively, hospitals' medical records-related costs typically account for just under 3% of total  general-service operating expenses, and almost 7% of total general-service salary expenses.

Hospital General-Service Area Costs - Gross Salaries % Total Salaries
Administrative & General 34.0%
Nursing Administration 9.5%
Pharmacy 9.2%
Housekeeping 7.5%
Other 6.8%
Dietary 6.8%
Medical Records/Library 6.5%
Charges represent hospital financials submitted to CMS for the 2010-2011 reporting period.
Partial report listing - all service areas not represented.

By comparison, administrative and general charges account for over a third of total salaries and overall costs across general-service departments. Employee benefits come in second in overall operating costs (~20%), while nursing administration holds the second largest share in total gross salary spend (~10%). Pharmacy expenses round out the top three in both salaries and overall costs (just under 10%).

Medical Records Salary Expenses

Medical records department costs represent 1-5% of total general service costs in over 75% of hospitals. The top 10% of hospitals investing the most in medical records departments spend 7% or more of total general-service costs there, with the bottom 10% of hospitals investing roughly 1.5% or less.

Looking at departmental gross salary costs specifically (as a sub-set of total general service costs), 75% of hospitals spend 3-13% of total general service gross salaries on medical records departments. The top 10% of hospitals investing the most in medical records salaries spend roughly 15% or more of overall general service gross salaries there, with the bottom 10% of hospitals spending approximately 3% or less. 

More on Hospital Expense Trends
Explore what the hospitals investing the most in medical records have in common, evaluate departmental spend trending over time and examine what portion of total hospital spend is related to administrative costs versus inpatient, outpatient and ancillary service costs.
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