NorthShore University HealthSystem started its fiscal 2015 with improved operating performance as revenue growth outpaced increases to expenses during its first quarter.
The Evanston, Ill.-based system recorded a $42.9 million operating surplus for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015, ended Dec. 31, up 14.9% from a year ago. That was on $507.1 million in total revenue, representing a 2.1% improvement from the $496.8 million in revenue reported in the comparable prior year period.
Utilization data was not available for the quarter, but the system's most recent annual filing showed outpatient visits climbing as inpatient admissions continued to fall. In fiscal 2014, outpatient visits reached 1.4 million, slightly more than 14% higher than they were just three years earlier. Meanwhile, inpatient admissions fell to 38,070, down 9.9% during that same period.
NorthShore's operating surplus rose for the year, reaching $131 million, or more than twice what it had been in 2013. But on the non-operating front, the system didn't fare as well during the quarter as it had during the previous year or the year-ago period.
For quarter ended Dec. 31, NorthShore's non-operating earnings plummeted 92.9% to $3 million, down from $42.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Without the boost from investments, the system's net surplus was cut by more than 42% to $45.9 million.
The most significant development for the system during the last three months was Illinois' December approval of NorthShore's merger and affiliation agreement with Advocate Health Care. The transaction, targeted for a close early this year, would create a 16-hospital system known as Advocate NorthShore Health Partners. According to the Modern Healthcare Financial Database, Advocate is a $5 billion system based in Downers Grove, Ill.
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