For the first quarter of 2021, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have each released operating revenues close to their projections as health systems emerge from the financial challenges of COVID-19, due to recently released financial disclosures.
Cleveland Clinic’s operating income for the first three months of the year was $ 61.7 million, compared to an operating loss of $ 39.9 million in the first quarter of 2020.
This was slightly below what the Clinic expected from an operational performance perspective, but it is not material, said Steven Glass, the clinic’s chief financial officer. He also notes that the Clinic set up its screenings last fall before the winter break.
“Revenues were much shorter than we expected, but the Clinic did a good job of managing budget-related expenses, so we’re just a little behind in the outlook for the operating margin for the first quarter of the year, ”he said.
University hospitals reported an operating income of $ 1.4 million for the three-month period ended March 31 this year, compared with a loss of $ 45.7 million for the same period last year. last.
Mike Szubski, UH’s chief financial officer, said the system has gone well and is following his expectations.
“We’re trying to be a little cautious about how we can make the recovery for Q1 2021, so we’re pretty close to the first quarter, and it’s just in line with the plan,” he said.
Szubski said in late June that the second quarter was good for UH as well and that the system was ahead of schedule.
As for patient volumes, UH’s outpatient numbers have been “robust” – far more than it saw during this time last year, Szubski said, adding that volumes of surgical and outpatient procedures are also recovering. pretty good.
Hospital activity remains flat, although acuity levels have increased with the sickest patients in the hospital, probably in part due to delayed care during poor conditions, he said.
Through the first quarter, the Clinic saw the end of the peak of winter growth and began to approach normal pre-COVID-19 volume levels.
“At the end of the first quarter, we were at a variance of a figure from where we were pre-COVID, which is very good, and which has continued to recover since then,” Glass said.
Szubski said UH has thought about its capital spending going forward, and expects long-term capital planning to be resumed until the second quarter.
“Again, we will always invest where there is a safety issue or regulatory concern that needs to be addressed, we will do that,” he said. “We also have the Ahuja Phase II project underway, and we are not stopping it. I think there are only a few pockets of opportunity where we are just as thoughtful as we can, (and) being prudent with the capital spent.”
Glass said that while the Clinic and other providers are thinking about the fall and winter months to come and with them, flu season, they are organizing people to get vaccinated.
“We will, before we know it, go into the fall season. And we’d really like to see everyone take all the precautions we can. We don’t want to go back to where we were last winter,” Glass said. “So we should encourage a lot of everyone to think please take the vaccine. I know there is some hesitation out there, but it has really had a huge impact on controlling the spread of this disease in our communities.”