Health First reported strong revenue increases in its fourth quarter, but higher expenses led to a slightly smaller surplus for the Brevard, Fla.-based system.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the system reported a 12.7% increase in net patient revenue and an 18.6% rise in premium revenue compared with the year-ago period. Total revenue was up 15%.
But higher costs for salaries and benefits, supplies and other expenses contributed to a 15.8% increase in total operating expenses, so the system's operating surplus fell 0.5% to $14.1 million.
For the full year ended Sept. 30, the system reported $58.6 million in surplus on $1.3 billion in total revenue, compared with $57.3 million on $1.1 billion in total revenue in its fiscal 2014. Its operating margin was 4.7%, down from 5.1% in the previous year.
Health First's investment income rose sharply in the fourth quarter to $8.9 million, up from $1.3 million in the prior year quarter, and more than doubled over the 12-month period to $18 million.