As­cen­sion’s out­pa­tient trans­for­ma­tion comes at a cost

Modern Healthcare - - News - By Tara Ban­now

AS­CEN­SION’S REIN­VEN­TION as a sys­tem cen­tered around value and out­pa­tient care is hav­ing an­tic­i­pated but not ex­actly wel­come ef­fects on its op­er­at­ing re­sults.

Roughly eight months af­ter an­nounc­ing its pivot from fo­cus­ing on hos­pi­tals and in­pa­tient care, the St. Louis-based not-for­profit saw same-fa­cil­ity de­clines in equiv­a­lent dis­charges, in­pa­tient ad­mis­sions and other key ar­eas dur­ing the first quar­ter of its fis­cal 2019, ended Sept. 30. It’s also see­ing higher pro­por­tions of pa­tients cov­ered un­der gov­ern­ment pay­ers and ex­penses from un­com­pen­sated care.

“As this tran­si­tion, and As­cen­sion’s in­vest­ment in pop­u­la­tion health man­age­ment and ad­dress­ing the so­cial de­ter­mi­nants of health con­tin­ues, changes to op­er­at­ing per­for­mance are ex­pected,” As­cen­sion wrote in a nar­ra­tive sec­tion ex­plain­ing its re­sults.

As­cen­sion’s re­cur­ring op­er­at­ing mar­gin was 0.9% in the first quar­ter, com­pared with 1.1% dur­ing the same pe­riod in fis­cal 2018. The health sys­tem drew $36.4 mil­lion in in­come from op­er­a­tions dur­ing the quar­ter, com­pared with $11.5 mil­lion in the prior-year pe­riod.

In­pa­tient surg­eries de­clined 4.1% on a same-fa­cil­ity ba­sis dur­ing the quar­ter, and emer­gency room vis­its fell 4%. As­cen­sion’s in­pa­tient ad­mis­sions fell 3.8% on a same-fa­cil­ity ba­sis, and equiv­a­lent dis­charges fell 0.3%. Same-fa­cil­ity out­pa­tient vol­umes in­creased 0.5% in the same time pe­riod, and out­pa­tient surg­eries rose 1.4%. As­cen­sion said its un­com­pen­sated care and com­mu­nity ben­e­fit spend­ing grew 1.3% year-over-year to $531 mil­lion dur­ing the first quar­ter of fis­cal 2018.

The health sys­tem drew $6.16 bil­lion in op­er­at­ing rev­enue dur­ing the first quar­ter, up nearly 11% from $5.55 bil­lion dur­ing the first quar­ter of fis­cal 2018. Within that, net pa­tient ser­vice rev­enue in­creased 10.1% to $5.73 bil­lion.

Ex­penses rose 11.1% to $6.11 bil­lion dur­ing the quar­ter. The ma­jor­ity of the in­crease was due to As­cen­sion’s ac­qui­si­tion of Pres­ence Health. On a same-fa­cil­ity ba­sis, to­tal op­er­at­ing ex­penses in­creased $33.4 mil­lion, or 0.6%.The health sys­tem re­ported $459 mil­lion in net in­come dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2019, up 11% com­pared with $413 mil­lion in the prior-year pe­riod.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.