Merger with SCL Health spurs Intermountain to $2.7B in net income

Dive Brief:

  • Intermountain Healthcare reported net income of $2.7 billion in the first six months of the year, despite a heavy loss on investments and flagging operating income.
  • The 46% year-over-year jump in net income for the Utah-based nonprofit was spurred by more than $4 billion in contribution from its merger with SCL Health that closed in April, according to recent financial documents.
  • By comparison, Intermountain brought in annual net income of $1.2 billion in 2020, $1.1 billion in 2019 and $599 million in 2018.

Dive Insight:

Intermountain and SCL entered into a merger agreement to combine their health systems in December. The merger was completed in April, creating a $12 billion system and expanding Intermountain’s reach into Colorado.

In its first financial filing since the affiliation, 33-hospital Intermountain, which also manages hundreds of clinics across seven states, reported revenues of $6.5 billion in the first six months of 2022, up 25% year over year.

Expenses climbed 31% to $5.9 billion, driven primarily by growth in employee compensation and benefits and increasingly pricey supplies.

Net operating income was $285 billion, down 38% year over year.

Intermountain’s inpatient admissions and hospital outpatient visits ticked down 1% and 7% respectively, though its emergency rooms visits climbed 11%. Visits at the system’s non-hospital clinics were also up 11%.

Inpatient surgeries were down 2% while outpatient surgeries were up 4%, suggesting a broader shift away from care being delivered in the hospital setting.

Intermountain’s results mirror those of other large U.S. systems in 2022 so far, as major for-profit chains report lower operating income and admissions. Tight competition for labor amid ongoing workforce shortages has resulted in skyrocketing labor expenses while inflation and supply chain pressures has ratcheted up the cost of hospital supplies needed to provide patient care.

Some of the biggest nonprofits in the U.S. have reported net losses in the second quarter, including Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health. Nonprofit giant Providence reported an operating loss of $934 million in the first half of 2022, citing cost and operational stressors. Providence plans to restructure and cut executive roles in a bid to become a nimbler organization.

On Tuesday, ratings agency Fitch said its outlook for nonprofit hospitals is “deteriorating” amid elevated expense pressures, along with investment losses.

On Friday, Intermountain named Lydia Jumonville as interim CEO after Marc Harrison announced plans to depart the Salt Lake City-based system for the venture capital firm General Catalyst. Intermountain’s board is conducting a national search for a permanent chief executive, which it hopes to complete by the fall.

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