Pal­metto Health feels rev­enue squeeze from high-de­ductible plans

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Bob Her­man

Rev­enue at Pal­metto Health, a fourhos­pi­tal sys­tem based in Columbia, S.C., in­creased 1.9% in the first nine months of its fis­cal 2014, which ended June 30. The na­tion­wide shift to­ward high-de­ductible health plans was a fac­tor in lower com- mer­cially in­sured vol­umes and rev­enue, of­fi­cials said.

Em­ploy­ers have in­creas­ingly shifted em­ploy­ees to con­sumer-di­rected health plans that of­fer lower monthly pre­mi­ums but higher out-of-pocket costs. “We’re see­ing a lot of elec­tive-type pro­ce­dures that are be­ing de­layed,” said Ben Cun­ning­ham, Pal­metto Health’s vice pres­i­dent of fi­nance.

To­tal ad­mis­sions in the sys­tem’s first nine months of 2014 dropped 1%, while pa­tient days es­sen­tially re­mained flat.

Over­all, Pal­metto Health posted a $12.9 mil­lion op­er­at­ing loss in the first nine months of this year com­pared with a $15 mil­lion sur­plus in the year-ago pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to unau­dited fi­nan­cial re­sults. Rev­enue in the nine-month time frame to­taled $841.9 mil­lion ver­sus $826.1 mil­lion in 2013.

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