For urban, teaching and system-affiliated hospitals, the median is 49 days, and for rural hospitals, the median is 52 days, according to data from the 2013 AHA Annual Survey of Hospitals and the Healthcare Cost Report Information System maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Days in net patient accounts receivable measures how long it takes for a hospital to collect payments and provides a window into the efficiency of the organization’s revenue cycle. Community hospitals’ median days in net total accounts receivable, which includes patient accounts receivable plus other receivables due to the hospital, is 55. The median average payment period, which is the amount of time it takes an organization to pay its creditors, is 51 days. Across all indicators, fewer days is preferable. Trustees can use these data to compare how their own organization is performing and catch and resolve any financial issues before they attract the notice of ratings agencies.

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