While hospital profits increased for the third straight year in 1992 partly because of more efficient operations and savings from refinancings, the financial health of the industry is uncertain, according to a study released in late October.

"The Comparative Performance of U.S. Hospitals: The Sourcebook," compiled jointly by HCIA Inc. and Deloitte & Touche, reports that the median profit margin for all U.S. hospitals last year was 4.51%, up from 3.76% the previous year.

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