Baptist attributed the improvement to increases in surgical and obstetrical volume, standardized pricing across its hospitals and its ability to cut costs, particularly related to staffing, drugs, orthopedic implants and other supplies.
The system has been focused on turning around its performance after reporting a loss for fiscal 2013. Its results swung to a surplus in the first half of fiscal 2014.
Surgeries increased 2.7% in the quarter while deliveries were up 0.4%. Yet inpatient admissions declined 1.8% and outpatient visits were down 0.6%. Emergency room volume increased 5.9%.
Baptist has reduced its overall headcount but is holding firm to its strategy of employing more physicians, adding five doctors in the third quarter. The system acknowledged in an earnings report that its improved results were offset by its investments in physician employment, clinics and Baptist Express Care locations.
The system reported an operating loss of $27 million in those three areas, failing to improve on the $26.1 million lost in those areas during the third quarter of fiscal 2013.
However, the system did see topline growth from those investments, and attributed some of the increase in its net patient service revenue, which grew 10.1% year-over-year, to 16.6% more revenue that was brought in from office, clinic and express care visits.
The system also has continued to benefit from Medicaid expansion in the state, seeing a 40% drop in its uninsured population. Bad debt in the quarter was $13.3 million, an 80.1% drop from $66.8 million in the prior-year period.
Kentucky has had one of the most successful enrollment efforts in the country, signing up more than 413,400 people for health insurance out of its 640,000 previously uninsured.
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