- Advocate Aurora Health's operating income of $184.2 million fell sharply for the third quarter compared to the prior-year period, which was boosted by the infusion of federal relief funds. The system received zero such funds through the first nine months of this year, according to financial results released Tuesday.
- As patients returned for care, Advocate Aurora reported patient service revenue climbed 11%. However, total revenue for the nonprofit system grew by about 3%, slower than total expense growth of 6.3%.
- Net income of $361 million for the quarter also dropped drastically compared with the prior-year period, which included collected federal relief funds.
Advocate Aurora, one of the nation's largest health systems, reported a rise in patient volumes during the third quarter as the nation's hospitals were once again inundated with COVID-19 cases this summer due to the delta variant.
The Midwest-based system reported discharges, observation cases and outpatient visits were up 2%, 26.5% and 17.3%, respectively. However, patient visits with their physician were down 5.2%.
The financial results come on the heels of the FDA's decision to green light vaccine boosters for all adults in an attempt to avert another surge in hospitalizations, particularly as the country heads into the winter and holiday season, pushing more people to gather indoors.
Across the industry, hospitals are experiencing pressure on their margins as labor demands have increased along with supplies amid the delta variant.
The same is true for Advocate Aurora, which reported contracted medical services for the quarter shot up nearly 23%, while the cost of supplies increased nearly 8%.
Looking at Advocate Aurora's results through the first nine months of the year shows a widespread rebound in both volumes and financial performance.
Patient volumes in all key categories increased through Sept. 30, according to the financial results, with the highest increases among outpatient visits and observation cases.
Advocate Aurora is back in the black through the first nine months of the year for both operating income and net income after posting losses over the same period in 2020.