Summa Health announced it lost more than $33 million in the first half of 2017, which is a huge drop from its $14 million profit at this time last year.
In the financial statement posted this week, Summa Health said its inpatient admissions decreased 7%, observation cases dropped 14%, emergency visits decreased 4% and outpatient visits dropped 6%. Meanwhile, surgical cases increased 3%.
Those volume decreases were evident in Summa Health’s total revenue. The system collected more than $643 million in total revenue, which is more than $40 million less than last year.
Summa Health, which has seven hospitals and other facilities in Northeast Ohio, recorded $30 million in profits in all of 2016, but is apparently becoming another victim of recent trends like low-patient volume.
The financial news comes two months after Summa announced it planned to cut 300 positions. Half of the eliminated positions were empty. At that time, Summa officials predicted the system would lose $60 million this year because of low inpatient and outpatient numbers.
Also at that time, interim President and CEO Cliff Deveny said in an internal memo to staff Summa has “considerable cash in reserve to protect us for the short term,” but “this trend must stop immediately.”
Earlier this year, then-CEO Thomas Malone resigned after 240 Summa physicians signed a letter explaining a vote of no confidence. Their said they hadn't been consulted on major changes that would affect primary care at the health system. They also questioned Summa's decision to end a contract with emergency physicians.
Summa is far from the only health system with disappointing financial results this year. Both for-profit and nonprofit health systems are struggling to reach profitability in an industry with lower patient volumes and sagging reimbursement.
Norton Healthcare recently announced a 23% decrease in operating income for the first half of the year. Large for-profit systems like Community Health Systems (CHS) have also reported negative financial statements. CHS announced a $131 million operating loss for the second quarter, which was the fifth consecutive quarter it posted a loss. CHS is divesting 30 hospitals this year in hopes of cutting its $15 billion debt.