Healthcare Business News

Baptist posts larger loss than expected on weaker patient volume, payer mix

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: July 22, 2014 - 3:45 pm ET

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., a 14-hospital system in Memphis, Tenn., posted a bigger-than-expected net loss for the nine-month period ended June 30 as its patient volume and payer mix declined.

The system reported financial results for the month of June as well as the first nine months of its fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Baptist had budgeted for a 1% increase in discharges and a 3.3% increase in revenue per discharge for the first nine months of its fiscal year. Instead, it saw flat patient volume and a 0.4% decrease in revenue per patient. Its salary and benefit costs per discharge also increased 5.4%, instead of the 3.8% budgeted.

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As a result, the system reported a $124.3 million operating loss for the nine-month period instead of the $20.7 million operating loss it had forecast.

After adding in gains from its investments, Baptist's net loss was $46.3 million on $1.4 billion in revenue compared with a surplus of $43.4 million on revenue of $1.4 billion during the same period last year.

Eight hospitals failed to meet their budget targets compared with one hospital that exceeded the target. Its results were impacted not only by weaker patient volume and a more adverse payer mix, but also training costs on its EPIC electronic health-record system, the aging of accounts receivables and the CMS' take back of outlier payments, the system said.

For the month of June, Baptist said discharges exceeded its forecasts and increased 7.3%. However, revenue per discharge decreased 8.3%. The system did manage to reduce costs per discharge by 1.5%.

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher

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