Catholic health giant Ascension lost money in the first three months of 2021 even after receiving more than $ 100 million in federal grants during the period.
The St. Louis-based system – which has 146 hospitals and operates in 19 states plus Washington, DC-lost $ 16.7 million on operations in the quarter ended March 31, 2021, even after receiving about $ 110 million in grants from the Provident Relief Fund during the period. The loss has not been as good as Ascension’s $ 429.4 million operating loss in the three months ended March 31, 2020, a quarter that includes the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic but without relief funding.
Expanding these results to the nine months ended March 31, 2021, Ascension posted $ 779.2 million in operating income, but that includes $ 889.3 million in federal grants. Without the subsidies, the system would have lost $ 110 million over the nine-month period.
Ascension noted in its financial statement that government aid funds have helped offset the impact of mandatory and discretionary procedure arrests during the pandemic. However, operations and volumes are still below pre-pandemic levels. Ascension estimates that the pandemic had a total negative impact of $ 1.9 billion in lost revenue and additional expenses as of March 31, 2021.
Ascension revenues grew 1.2% year-on-year to $ 20.5 billion in the nine months ended March 31, 2021. Expenses grew 2.1% over the same period to $ 19.8 billion. of dollars.
Strong returns on investment have pushed Ascension’s excessive revenue to $ 4.8 billion in spending in the nine months ended March 31, 2021, a large fluctuation from a $ 1.9 billion deficit in the previous year’s period.
Admissions fell 8.5% in the nine months ended March 31, 2021 last year, and emergency department visits fell 21% in that time. Surgery visits, both inpatient and outpatient, have dropped nearly 6%.
Some nonprofit health care systems have seen their finances increase at the beginning of 2021, while others continue to struggle. Mass General Brigham, RWJBarnabas Health and Ochsner Health, for example, he turned to black after posting losses in the comparable period 2020. CommonSpirit Health would have lost money if it had not has made more than $ 500 million selling part of its stake in Optum360.