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Palmetto Health revenue squeezed by high-deductible plans


By Bob Herman
Posted: August 23, 2014 - 12:01 am ET
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Revenue at Palmetto Health, a four-hospital system based in Columbia, S.C., increased 1.9% in the first nine months of its fiscal 2014, which ended June 30. The nationwide shift toward high-deductible health plans was a factor in lower commercially insured volumes and revenue, officials said.

Employers have increasingly shifted employees to consumer-directed health plans that offer lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs. “We're seeing a lot of elective-type procedures that are being delayed,” said Ben Cunningham, Palmetto Health's vice president of finance.

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Total admissions in the system's first nine months of 2014 dropped 1%, while patient days essentially remained flat.

Overall, Palmetto Health posted a $12.9 million operating loss in the first nine months of this year compared with a $15 million surplus in the year-ago period, according to unaudited financial results. Revenue in the nine-month time frame totaled $841.9 million versus $826.1 million in 2013.

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman


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