- Louisville, KY-based Norton Healthcare reported 2016 revenues of $2.1 billion, up 5% — or $92.4 million — from the previous year, Louisville Business First reports.
- Expenses also rose, however, due to the addition of more providers and other employees. Last year, direct expenses hit $1.86 billion, a 6% increase over 2015.
- Separately, the nonprofit health system and University of Louisville announced plans to create a pediatric cancer treatment institute.
Norton is one of only a few healthcare systems that have been able to buck the trend of financial struggles recently. Mount Sinai recently reported a 52% increase in operating income, but in contrast, Texas-based Tenet Healthcare reported a drop in operating revenue from $5.05 billion in 2015 to $4.86 billion last year.
Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove recently said that more than half of hospitals have seen drops in operating incomes in recent years, mostly due to policy changes.
The bulk of Norton’s spending bump came from new provider positions and across-the-board hiring increases. Salary and wage costs jumped 9.6% to $907 million last year, from $872 million in 2015.
Higher patient volumes at hospitals and physician practices accounted for some of the revenues gain. Outpatient volumes rose 12% to 14,883 at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Other facilities that saw increases in outpatient volume were Norton Audubon Hospital, up 3% to 4,037; Norton Brownsboro Hospital, up 4% to 3,395; and Norton Hospital, up 1% to 1,205.
Under the partnership, announced Monday, Norton Healthcare will pay the university $1 million annually for pediatric oncology research and physician recruitment, as well as leadership and support staff at the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute. In return, U of L will provide the institute with physician support.
The aim is to improve access to cancer services and new treatments for rare tumors and benign blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, as well as bone marrow transplants, the two organizations said.
Efforts to find more effective cancer treatments got a major injection with former Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. In its first year, 19 projects got underway targeting expansion of HPV vaccination and colorectal cancer screening, data sharing among researchers and biomarkers, to name just a few.