Baylor Scott & White Health, fresh off a banner year in 2017 in which profit grew 149% year-over-year, continued to see strong profit in the first half of 2018.
The Dallas-based not-for-profit system drew a profit of $595 million in the first half of its fiscal 2018, a noteworthy 53% jump from the first half of fiscal 2017, and not far from the $630 million in profit the system generated in fiscal 2017, which ended June 30, 2017, according to a quarterly disclosure report released Tuesday.
Baylor Scott & White's operating margin jumped to a healthy 8% in the first half of fiscal 2018, up from 4.7% in the first half of 2017, and significantly up from its 3.2% operating margin at the end of fiscal 2017. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped to $731 million in the first half of 2018, up $241 million year-over-year.
In the first half of Baylor Scott & White's fiscal 2018, which includes the six months ending Dec. 31, 2017, the system's operating revenue was $4.8 billion, up from $4.5 billion during the same time in fiscal 2017.
The system runs a health plan that has about 239,000 members in commercial, Medicaid and Medicare Part D policies. Premium revenue was down 13.5% in the first six months of fiscal 2018 year-over-year, which Baylor wrote was due to the decision to exit the individual market under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in the loss of about 42,500 members. At the same time, medical claims dropped by 23%, or $44.6 million, which Baylor said was also due to fewer exchange members.
Despite a healthy margin, Baylor's operating expenses were slightly higher in the first half of 2018: $4.4 billion compared with $4.3 billion the previous year. Baylor said that was due to a $88.5 million, or 4%, increase in salaries, wages and benefits, a category that comprises roughly half of expenses. Supplies and other operating expenses went up nearly 7% during that time, representing about 40% of expenses.
Baylor Scott & White continued to see several measures of utilization increase in the first half of 2018. Inpatient admissions and occupancy were both up roughly 2%. Emergency room visits were up about 3%. Average daily census, however, was down slightly.
The report was prepared by Baylor Scott & White's interim CFO Peter McCanna. Former CFO Fred Savelsbergh left the organization at the beginning of February. The health system did not disclose the reason for his departure.