Though revenue is up 5.4% at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in Great Neck, N.Y., the increase wasn't enough to offset rising expenses, which left the system with a 25% smaller operating surplus for the nine-month period ending in September compared to the same period in the prior year.
North Shore-LIJ realized a $51.7 million surplus on $5.4 billion in revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30, down from $69.1 million on $5.2 billion in the same period the prior year. Expenses were up 5.8%, driven by a 14.9% jump in interest expenses, an 8.3% increase in expenses related to depreciation and amortization and a 6.7% jump in salaries.
In its last earnings report in September, executives said that the launch of the system's health insurance startup, North Shore-LIJ CareConnect, had contributed to rising expenses. Expenses related to insurance operations were $74.1 million during the nine-month period, about 1.3% of the system's total expenses.
The company's total surplus was $109.7 million, down 41.3% from the $186.9 million reported during the same period last year.
North Shore-LIJ's operating margin was 0.9% for the nine-month period in 2014, down from 1.3% during the same period the prior year.
Despite a 3.7% increase in net patient service revenue, total discharges were down 2.4% throughout the system and patient days were down 2.1%, excluding nursery patients. The system in part attributed the decrease in inpatient activity on this winter's historically bad weather, as well as a national trend of care shifting toward outpatient settings—North Shore-LIJ's emergency rooms experienced 3.1% more visits compared to the same period last year.
The system announced this summer that it would acquire the 189-bed Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. and the 238-bed Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. The deals have not yet been approved by regulators, the hospital said in its earnings report.
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