- Despite a drop in operating income, Ascension ended fiscal year 2017 with a gain in net income, thanks to a hefty boost in investment income.
- Operating income was $552.7 million, down from $753.2 million in FY 2016, according to the company’s end-of-year financial statement. But with a $1.4 billion surge in investment, compared with a $358.3 million loss the previous year, net income at the St. Louis-based hospital chain more than tripled to $1.86 billion versus $477.7 million in 2016.
- Revenue grew 3.9% to $22.6 billion, largely on higher patient volumes resulting from Ascension’s March 2016 acquisition of Milwaukee-based Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Southeast Wisconsin system, the company said.
The country’s largest not-for-profit hospital company also reported more than $1.8 billion in charitable care and community benefits, a $155 million increase over the prior year.
Ascension has made several strategic investments and divestitures in the past year. In April, the company announced it was selling Marshfield, Wis.-based Saint Joseph’s Hospital to Marshfield Clinic Health System, the state’s largest private medical practice group.
Then last month, Ascension signed a letter of intent to purchase Presence Health, the largest Catholic health system in Illinois. Under the agreement, Presence would merge into AMITA Health, a joint venture of Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health. The deal would add new medical centers, outpatient facilities and other care sites to AMITA’s integrated health system.
Consolidation has been an ongoing trend as healthcare organizations try to adjust to fewer patients, cuts in reimbursement and new demands under value-based care.