For the first time in its four-year history, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, has reported a positive quarterly margin. The six-hospital system, created when Western Pennsylvania Healthcare System bought four hospitals affiliated with the bankrupt Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation, showed a surplus in its fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2003, of $2.3 million on revenue of $323 million. The figures compare to a loss of $8.9 million on revenue of $299 million for the year-ago period. For the six months ended Dec. 31, the system lost $3.5 million on revenue of $635 million, compared with a loss of $17.4 million on revenue of $589 million for the same period a year ago. In a report, West Penn attributed the financial improvement to labor cost savings initiatives launched in late fiscal 2003, which ended June 30; an increase in inpatient and outpatient volume; and improved returns on investments thanks to an improving stock market. A spokesman for the system said it anticipates a surplus for the entire fiscal year. In October, Charles O'Brien resigned as president and chief executive officer of the system and was replaced by Jerry Fedele. -- by Tony Fong
AHERF's Pittsburgh ashes rise to profitability
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