- Despite the worsening pandemic, Universal Health Services' net income increased almost 150% to $241.3 million during the third quarter compared with the prior-year period, the company reported Thursday.
- The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based health system was able to modestly raise revenue by 3.2% to almost $3 billion while it trimmed expenses by 3% compared with the prior-year period.
- However, volumes took a hit in the third quarter at both the system's acute care and behavioral health facilities, which recorded a nearly 10% and 5.3% drop in admissions, respectively.
UHS' volumes continue to face downward pressure while the system is caring for sicker patients compared to a year ago.
Outpatient activity has taken a hit, as well. Exacerbating that is a decline in ER traffic, executives said Friday.
Taking into account outpatient activity, adjusted admissions looking at the same-facilities year over year were down 17.3% across the 26 acute care hospitals. In its behavioral segment, adjusted admissions dropped 5.6% across the system's 312 facilities.
Executives said Friday that the patients that are showing up tend to be sicker. Emergency room visits have been the slowest service line to recover but executives noted that it appears less acute patients are continuing to avoid the emergency room while those who are seeking care are sicker.
And a much higher percentage of those coming to the ER are being admitted, further highlighting this trend of greater acuity, executives said Friday.
Illustrating this trend on acuity, the health system noted that net revenue per adjusted admission increased about 26% during the quarter.
To help weather the disruption in volume, UHS said it has so far received $1.09 billion in various governmental grants and accelerated Medicare payments.
More specifically, UHS has recorded $213 million from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act grants, which do not need to be returned, throughout the first nine months of the year. (Though the system returned about $5 million in CARES grants during the quarter).
About $157 million of the CARES Act funds went to the bottom line or were recorded as a "favorable impact" on the company's net income for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2020.
Correction: This story original mischaracterized federal coronavirus aid UHS received. The company recorded $213 million through the first nine months of the year.