Ascension's operating surplus exceeded three-quarters of a billion dollars last year as the hospital system bought new facilities and recorded more outpatient activity.
The system's $753 million operating surplus came from $21.9 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, resulting in a 3.4% operating margin, according to Ascension's financial documents filed with bondholders last week. The operating margin was almost identical to what Ascension recorded in fiscal 2015. Revenue was 6.6% higher.
Ascension is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system that owns 141 hospitals across the country. Its revenue base is bigger than almost all of its for-profit peers. HCA Holdings, however, continues to sit well above Ascension with roughly $40 billion in annual revenue.
Ascension, which had almost $700 million in cash as of June 30, bulked up with several deals. In the past year, the St. Louis-based system acquired Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, Mich., and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Glendale, Wis. Those acquisitions added $611 million in revenue.
During the fourth quarter, private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners agreed to buy a stake in Ascension's health IT firm TriMedx. Ascension and TowerBrook also jointly bought part of the troubled revenue-cycle firm Accretive Health in December. TowerBrook and Ascension made the deals through their joint venture investment company, TMX Holdings.