All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

S Robert Hernandez

Advisory Committee Members

Nancy M Borkowski

Larry R Hearld

Dean G Smith

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Executive Doctor of Science (DSc) School of Health Professions


There is a near-universal assumption in both practice and literature that greater accuracy and management to the budget improves profitability (Libby & Lindsay, 2010; Umapathy, 1987). Prior to this study, this assumption has gone untested and we know little about the wisdom of such an assumption. The results of this study indicate greater accuracy in forecasting and/or tighter management to the budget, or favorably exceeding it, leads to improved profitability. More specifically, smaller unfavorable budget variances are associated with greater operating margins while greater favorable budget variances are associated with greater operating margins. A single standard deviation reduction in unfavorable revenue and expense increases operating margin by 5.2% and 6.3%, respectively. An equivalent favorable deviation in revenue and expense increases operating margin by 3.2% and 2.7%, respectively. Managers can improve hospitals’ operating margins by first prioritizing the reduction and/or eliminating unfavorable variances, and second increasing favorable variances.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.