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Resources: Data

Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s EMMA site

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Electronic Municipal Market Access system has been described as “one of the coolest sites to hit hospital finances in years. It enables you get to get up to date financial information and debt. You can also download the results and show them to experts for quotes.”

EMMA, is the official repository for information on virtually all municipal bonds. EMMA provides free public access to official disclosures, trade data, credit ratings and educational materials and other information about the municipal securities market.

Here's how to get the information you need:

  • At the site, put the name of the hospital system or hospital in the "quick search" box on the upper right.
  • You will then see three columns. Look on the far right for a bond issue that is still in force (there's a range of years). Then click on the center column under "issue description."
  • Hit "accept" on the next screen
  • Then hit "Continuing disclosure” (far right of three tabs at the top).
  • That will get you the most recent operating data, the most recent audited financial statements, plus lots of data on utilization, and lots more...  

Ames AlexanderJoseph Neff and Karen Garloch of The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer used the site to report that N.C. hospitals made big money while suing vulnerable patients for rising costs of care

“By examining audited financial statements, we were also able to determine the profit margins of larger systems. Audited financials for large hospital systems can often be obtained through the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s EMMA site.”