Healthcare Business News

Catholic Health, Roper St. Francis see gains in operating income

By Bob Herman
Posted: May 30, 2014 - 2:30 pm ET

Multihospital networks Catholic Health System in Buffalo, N.Y., and Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, S.C., each boosted their operating income in 2013 as they kept expenses in check.

The systems, which posted year-end 2013 financials this week, buck a trend seen at several peers. In April, Moody's Investors Service released a report that said expense growth generally outpaced revenue growth at not-for-profit hospitals and systems for the second consecutive year. Moody's looked at about half of its rated hospital portfolio with finalized 2013 results.

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Catholic Health, a three-hospital system owned equally by Ascension Health, CHE Trinity Health and the Diocese of Buffalo, posted $922.2 million in total unrestricted revenue (PDF) in 2013, which ended Dec. 31—a 5% increase from 2012. Expenses grew at a 4.6% clip. The system’s operating surplus totaled $31.9 million last year, compared with $27 million in 2012, and its total surplus increased 22% to $35.6 million.

The improved figures come despite lower utilization (PDF). Catholic Health’s total discharges and outpatient visits were down 2.7% and 3%, respectively, last year. However, the system recorded a 13.3% increase in patient service revenue from Medicaid, a 6% boost in revenue from commercial payers and decreased bad debt from self-pay patients. New York opted to expand Medicaid.

At Roper St. Francis, a three-hospital system with 15 outpatient centers, total unrestricted revenue climbed (PDF) 3.5% to $755.6 million in 2013. Comparatively, expenses rose 3.2%. The organization’s operating surplus totaled $16.3 million, an almost 20% improvement from 2012, while the total surplus increased 78% to $56.2 million, due to large investment gains and favorable adjustments on swaps.

Volumes at Roper St. Francis were up nearly across the board. Adjusted discharges (PDF), which includes outpatients, increased 1.7%, but adult discharges were down 5.2% from the prior year. Outpatient surgeries and emergency department visits grew 1.4% and 3.6%, respectively.

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman

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