Palmetto Health, a six-hospital system based in Columbia, S.C., reported an operating surplus in fiscal 2015, after experiencing operating losses the prior year.
Increased revenue was buoyed in particular by the new Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge which opened in March 2014. That led to a better payer mix, as well as increases in negotiated managed-care rates related to the Affordable Care Act, system officials said.
Palmetto Health's surplus was $17.2 million in fiscal 2015, which ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of $15.6 million in fiscal 2014. The system's total revenue skyrocketed, going up 10.2%. Net patient revenue rose 9.8% in 2015 over the prior year. Total admissions rose 7% in 2015 over the previous year, with patient days increasing by 3.7%. Palmetto also reported a 13.2% increase in emergency department visits over 2014.
Salaries and benefits, however, also rose, and the system reported an 8.4% uptick last year over 2014. In the fourth quarter, 19 orthopedic physicians joined Palmetto's newly created practice, according to its financial statement.
The system was active in merger and acquisition activity, and in January, finalized its acquisition of Tuomey Healthcare System in Sumter, S.C. Tuomey agreed to settle with the government for $72.4 million in October 2015 for illegal compensation arrangements with its doctors, and was bought by Palmetto as part of the settlement.