Despite a reasonably solid third quarter, Trinity Health is still operating at a loss in its 2023 fiscal year, according to a new filing.
The health system’s fiscal year began July 1, 2022, with the latest figures covering the first nine months. Its latest operating loss shrank to $263.1 million from the prior six months’ $298 million loss. Fiscal year 2023 operating revenue currently stands at $15.9 billion, up from the same period last year.
The nonprofit health system attributed its operating revenue growth to several acquisitions (MercyOne, North Ottawa Community Health System, Genesis Health System), which collectively added $1 billion of operating revenue. Net income for the last nine months was $856.3 million, compared to $43 million in the same period the prior year.
Though inpatient volumes are stabilizing to “a new normal,” management wrote in the latest filing, most of Trinity’s revenue comes from outpatient and other non-patient revenue. Operating expenses rose $1.1 billion compared to the same period in fiscal year 2022, mostly driven by the acquisitions.
Nonoperating income was $1.2 billion during the first nine months of fiscal year 2023, up from $264.6 million in the first six months. This hike was driven partly by a $629.3 million increase in investment returns.
The health system’s operating margin was 1.6%, per the latest filing, compared to 0.1% during the same period a year ago. Margins were affected by expenses outpacing revenue, primarily driven by premium labor rates and inflation impacting supplies as well as a $137 million reduction in CARES Act grant funding.
Trinity reports $10.2 billion in unrestricted cash and investments, including 180 days cash on hand compared to 211 days in fiscal year 2022, in its latest filing.
Trinity is focused on diversifying its business by shifting to ambulatory, home health, PACE, urgent care, specialty pharmacy and telehealth. The filing also noted the recent launch of a new care delivery model dubbed TogetherTeam, involving on-site and virtual nurses, that is expected to be implemented systemwide by the end of its 2024 fiscal year.
Salaries, wages and employee benefit costs rose 2.2%, offset by a reduction of $54.6 million in executive compensation and $39.7 million more pharmacy rebates than in the same period in fiscal year 2022. Same-facility contract labor costs decreased more than 40% to $193.9 million, reflecting “unprecedented” pandemic-related costs during the third quarter in 2022.
Trinity “continues to use strong cost controls over contract labor and other operational spending as colleague investment and utilization of its FirstChoice internal staffing agency promotes labor stabilization,” management wrote.
Trinity Health spans 88 acute care hospitals and hundreds of other care locations in 26 states and purports to have the second-largest Medicare PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) program in the country. It provided services to 1.3 million people and reported a community benefit and charity of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2022.
A decline in COVID-19 funding and sustained expenses issues helped lead St. Louis-based Ascension to a $1.8 billion operating loss in the nine months ending March 31.
The nine-month loss was on revenue of $21.3 billion. In the quarter ending March 31, the 140-hospital system reported an operating loss of $1.4 billion on $6.9 billion in revenue.
Such losses compared with $640 million and $671 million deficits in the nine-month and three-month periods, respectively, ending March 31, 2022.
Expenses for the nine-month period increased 3.7 percent on the previous year to total $22.3 billion.
“The reduction in COVID-19 funding negatively impacted revenue in the current year,” Ascension management said in the filing. “Additionally, challenges to expenses continue to persist resulting from the inflationary environment.”
The operating losses were offset by improved non-operating income in the first three months of 2023 but not over the nine-month period, which saw a net deficit of $1.9 billion.
Ascension, which operates 2,600 sites of care across 19 states and Washington, D.C., had 219 days of cash on hand as of March 31 compared with 259 at the same time last year.
Pittsburgh-based UPMC’s operating income hit $100.4 million in the first quarter — up from $50.4 million in the prior year period — due to increased patient volumes, the growth of its insurance division and equity earnings in its investment in CarepathRx.
UPMC said quarterly results were partially offset by reduced pandemic-related funding and increased labor costs. First-quarter revenue increased 12 percent year over year to $6.9 billion and expenses rose 11 percent to $6.8 billion.
Year over year, UPMC’s admissions and observations increased 6 percent, while its health plan grew by almost 500,000 members to 4.5 million. UPMC attributed the 12 percent jump to the expansion of its behavioral health and Medicaid programs in eastern Pennsylvania.
“While meeting strong patient preference for care to be provided more conveniently in ambulatory settings closer to home, UPMC’s outpatient revenue increased 9 percent compared to a year ago,” CFO Edward Karlovich said in a May 25 news release. “Our patient volumes continue to shift from inpatient to outpatient settings.”
After including the performance of its investment portfolio and other nonoperating items, the 40-hospital system reported an overall gain of $187.3 million, compared with a loss of $226.2 million in the first quarter of 2022.
Fitch Ratings Senior Director Kevin Holloran dubbed 2022 the worst operating year ever and most nonprofit health systems reported large losses. However, the losses are shrinking and some systems have even reported gains during 2023 so far.
Cleveland Clinic reported $335.5 million net income for the first quarter of the year, compared with a $282.5 million loss over the same period in 2022. The health system reported revenue of $3.5 billion for the quarter. Cleveland Clinic has 321 days cash on hand, which puts it in a strong position for the future.
Boston-based Mass General Brighamreported $361 million gain for the second quarter ending March 31, which is up from a $867 million loss in the same period last year. The health system reported quarterly revenue jumped 11 percent year over year to $4.5 billion. The system’s quarterly loss on operations was down significantly this year, hitting $8 million, compared to $183 million last year.
Renton, Wash.-based Providence reported first quarter revenues were up 5.1 percent in 2023 to $7.1 billion, and operating loss is also moving in the right direction. The system reported $345 million operating loss in the first quarter of 2023, down from $510 million last year.
All three systems cited ongoing labor shortages and labor costs as a challenge, but are working on initiatives to reduce expenses. Cleveland Clinic and Mass General Brigham reported operating margin improvement to nearly positive numbers.
Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., also reported operating income at $233 million for the first quarter of the year, an increase from $72 million operating loss over the same period last year. The system is focused on advancing value-based care for the remainder of the year and its health plan grew more than 120,000 members year over year.
Even more regional systems are stemming their losses. SSM Health, based in St. Louis, went from a $57.4 million loss for the first quarter of 2022 to $16.5 million quarterly loss this year. Revenue increased 13.3 percent to $2.5 billion for the quarter, with increased labor expenses and inflation on supply costs continuing to weigh on the system.
UCHealth in Aurora, Colo., also reported a first quarter income of $61.8 million and revenue of more than $5 billion.
Not every system is seeing losses decline. Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, which reported larger operating losses in the first quarter year over year, hitting $658 million and $1.1 billion for the nine-month’s end March 31. The system was able to reduce contract labor costs, but still finds hiring a challenge and spent time last year recovering from a cybersecurity incident.
Hospitals face a long road to financial recovery from the pandemic as inflation persists and labor shortages become the norm, but movement in the right direction is welcome.
A number of hospitals and health systems are trimming their workforces or jobs due to financial and operational challenges.
Below are workforce reduction efforts or job eliminations that were announced within the past nine months and/or take effect later this year.
1. Wenatchee, Wash.-based Confluence Health has eliminated its chief operating officer amid restructuring efforts and financial pressures, the health system confirmed to Becker’s May 16.
2. Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint hospital in Johnstown, Pa., has laid off less than 1 percent of its workforce, the hospital confirmed to Becker’s May 15.
3. Community Health Network, a nonprofit health system based in Indianapolis, plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs as it restructures its workforce and makes organizational changes. The health system confirmed the job cuts in a statement shared with Becker’s on May 11. It did not say how many jobs would be cut or which positions would be affected.
4. New Orleans-based Ochsner Healtheliminated 770 positions, or about 2 percent of its workforce, on May 11. This is the largest layoff to date for the health system.
5. Cedars-Sinai Medical Centereliminated the positions of 131 employees and cut about two dozen other jobs at related Cedars-Sinai facilities, a spokesperson confirmed via a statement shared with Becker’s May 7. The Los Angeles-based organization said reductions represent less than 1 percent of the workforce and apply to management and non-management roles primarily in non-patient care jobs.
6. Rochester (N.Y.) Regional Health is eliminating about 60 positions. A statement from RRH said the changes affect less than one-half percent of the system population, mostly in nonclinical and management positions.
7. Memorial Health Systemlaid off fewer than 90 people, or less than 2 percent of its workforce.The Gulfport, Miss.-based health system said May 2 that most of the affected positions are nonclinical or management roles, and the majority do not involve direct patient care.
8. Monument Healthlaid off at least 80 employees, or about 2 percent of its workforce. The Rapid City, S.D.-based system said positions are primarily corporate service roles and will not affect patient services. Unfilled corporate service positions were also eliminated.
9. Habersham Medical Center in Demorest, Ga., laid off four executives. The layoffs are part of cost-cutting measures before the hospital joins Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System in July, nowhaberbasham.com reported April 27.
10. Scripps Health is eliminating 70 administrative roles, according to WARN documents filed by the San Diego-based health system in March. The layoffs take effect May 8 and affect corporate positions in San Diego and La Jolla, Calif.
11. Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, part of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, eliminated fewer than 40 positions, a spokesperson confirmed to Becker’s April 24. The layoffs represent 0.5 percent of the health system’s approximately 7,000-person workforce.
12. PeaceHealtheliminated 251 caregiver roles across multiple locations. The Vancouver, Wash.-based health system said affected roles include 121 from Shared Services, which supports its 16,000 caregivers in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
13. Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedicaplans to lay off 26 skilled nursing support staff. The layoffs, effective in June, affect 20 employees who work remotely across the U.S, and six who work at the ProMedica Summit Center in Toledo, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed April 18. Most affected positions support sales, marketing and administrative functions for the skilled nursing facilities, Promecia told Becker’s.
14. Northern Inyo Healthcare District, which operates a 25-bed critical access hospital in Bishop, Calif., anticipates eliminating about 15 positions, or less than 4 percent of its 460-member workforce, by April 21, a spokesperson confirmed to Becker’s. The layoffs include nonclinical roles within support and administration, according to a news release. No further details were provided about specific positions affected.
15. West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health is eliminating 100 full-time equivalent positions. The move will affect 45 individuals, according to an April 13 news release the health system shared with Becker’s. The other 55 positions are either recently vacated or involve individuals who plan to retire in the coming weeks and months.
16. Grand Forks, N.D.-based Altru Health is trimming its executive team as its new hospital project moves forward. The health system is trimming its executive team from nine to six and incentivizing 34 other employees to take early retirement.
17. Tacoma, Wash.-based Virginia Mason Franciscan Healthlaid off nearly 400 employees, most of whom are in non-patient-facing roles. The job cuts affected less than 2 percent of the health system’s 19,000-plus workforce.
18. Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon, Ill., will lay off 20 employees, citing financial headwinds affecting health organizations across the U.S. It will also leave other positions unfilled to reduce expenses amid rising labor and supply costs and reductions in payments by insurance plans. Affected employees largely work in administrative support areas and not direct patient care.
19. Danbury, Conn.-based Nuvance Health will close a 100-bed rehabilitation facility in Rhinebeck, N.Y., resulting in 102 layoffs. The layoffs are effective April 12, according to the Daily Freeman.
20. Charleston, S.C.-based MUSC Health University Medical Center laid off an unspecified number of employees from its Midlands hospitals in the Columbia, S.C. area. Division President Terry Gunn also resigned after the facilities missed budget expectations by $40 million in the first six months of the fiscal year, The Post and Courier reported March 30.
21. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Healthlaid off about 50 workers, including C-level executives, the health system confirmed to Becker’s March 29. The layoffs affected Jesse Cureton, the health system’s executive vice president and chief consumer officer since 2013; Angela Yochem, its executive vice president and chief transformation and digital officer since 2020; and Paula Dean Kranz, vice president of innovation enablement and executive director of the Novant Health Innovation Labs.
22. Penn Medicine Lancaster (Pa.) General Healtheliminated fewer than 65 jobs, or less than 1 percent of its workforce of about 9,700, the health system confirmed to Becker’s March 30. The layoffs include support, administrative and executive roles, and COVID-19-related support staff, spokesperson John Lines said, according to lancasteronline.com. Mr. Lines did not provide a specific number of affected workers.
23. McLaren St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee, Ohio, will lay off 743 workers, including 239 registered nurses, when it permanently closes this spring. Other affected roles include physical therapists, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and pharmacy support staff, and nursing assistants. The hospital’s COO is also affected, and a spokesperson for McLaren Health Care told Becker’s other senior leadership roles are also affected.
24. Bellevue, Wash.-based Overlake Medical Center and Clinics laid off administrative staff, the health system confirmed to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The layoffs, which occurred earlier this year, included 30 workers across Overlake’s human resources, information technology and finance departments, a spokesperson said, according to the publication. This represents about 6 percent of the organization’s administrative workforce. Overlake’s website says it employs more than 3,000 people total.
25. Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care is eliminating five hospital leadership positions across the organization, spokesperson Eric Maze confirmed to Becker’s March 20. Mr. Maze did not specify which roles are being eliminated saying that the organization won’t address individual personnel actions. According to MU Health Care, the move is a result of restructuring “to better support patients and the future healthcare needs of Missourians.”
26. Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Healtheliminated 68 senior-level jobs. The job eliminations occurred Feb. 21, Cone Health COO Mandy Eaton told The Alamance News. Of the 68 positions eliminated, 21 were filled. Affected employees were offered severance packages.
27. The newly merged Greensburg, Pa.-based organization made up of Excela Health and Butler Health Systemeliminated 13 filled managerial jobs. The affected employees and positions are from across both sides of the new organization, Tom Chakurda, spokesperson for the Excela-Butler enterprise, confirmed to Becker’s. The positions were in various support functions unrelated to direct patient care.
28. Crozer Health, a four-hospital system based in Upland, Pa., is laying off roughly 215 employees amid financial challenges. The system announced the layoffs March 15 as part of its “operational restructuring plan” that “focuses on removing duplication in administrative oversight and discontinuing underutilized services.” Affected employees represent about 4 percent of the organization’s workforce.
29. Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine is eliminating administrative positions. The change is part of a reorganization plan to save the health system $40 million annually, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported March 13. Kevin Mahoney, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, told Penn Medicine’s 49,000 employees last week that changes include the elimination of a “small number of administrative positions which no longer align with our key objectives,” according to the publication. The memo did not indicate the exact number of positions that were eliminated.
30. Sovah Health, part of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Lifepoint Health, eliminated the COO positions at its Danville and Martinsville, Va., campuses. The responsibilities of both COO roles will now be spread across members of the existing administrative team.
31. Valley Health, a six-hospital health system based in Winchester, Va., eliminated 31 administrative positions. The job cuts are part of the consolidation of the organization’s leadership team and administrative roles.
32. Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System said it would lay off 346 employees, representing less than 3 percent of its employee base.
34. Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health plans to go from seven networks of care to five systemwide to reduce costs and strengthen operations. The reorganization will result in job cuts, including reducing administration by more than $100 million.
36. Hutchinson (Kan.) Regional Medical Center laid off 85 employees, a move tied to challenges in today’s healthcare environment.
37. Oklahoma City-based OU Healtheliminated about 100 positions as part of an organizational redesign to complete the integration from its 2021 merger.
38. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center announced it would lay off to reduce costs amid widespread hospital financial challenges. The layoffs are spread across 14 sites in New York City, and equate to about 1.8 percent of Memorial Sloan’s 22,500 workforce.
39. St. Louis-based Ascensioncompleted layoffs in Texas, the health system confirmed in January. A statement shared with Becker’s says the layoffs primarily affected nonclinical support roles. The health system declined to specify to Becker’s the number of employees or positions affected.
41. Chillicothe, Ohio-based Adena Health System announced it would eliminate 69 positions — 1.6 percent of its workforce — and send 340 revenue cycle department employees to Ensemble Health Partners’ payroll in a move aimed to help the health system’s financial stability.
42. Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside in Jacksonville, Fla., will end maternity care at the hospital, affecting 68 jobs, according to a Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state Jan. 17. The move will affect 62 registered nurses as well as six other positions.
43. Visalia, Calif.-based Kaweah Health said it aimed to eliminate 94 positions as part of a new strategy to reduce labor costs. The job cuts come in addition to previously announced workforce reductions; the health system already eliminated 90 unfilled positions and lowered its workforce by 106 employees.
44. Oklahoma City-based Integris Health said it would eliminate 200 jobs to curb expenses. The eliminations include 140 caregiver roles and 60 vacant jobs.
45. Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica announced plans to lay off 262 employees, a move tied to its exit from a skilled-nursing facility joint venture late last year. The layoffs will take effect between March 10 and April 1.
46. Employees at Las Vegas-based Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center were notified of layoffs coming to the facility, which will transition to a freestanding emergency department. There are 970 employees affected. Desert Springs is part of the Valley Health System, a system owned and operated by King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services.
47. Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health plans to go from five divisions to three in an effort to flatten management and become more efficient. The reorganization will result in an unspecified number of job cuts, primarily among executives.
48. Pikeville (Ky.) Medical Center said it would lay off 112 employees as it outsources its environmental services department. The 112 layoffs were effective Jan. 1, 2023.
49. Southern Illinois Healthcare, a four-hospital system based in Carbondale, announced it would eliminate or restructure 76 jobs in management and leadership. The 76 positions fall under senior leadership, management and corporate services. Included in that figure are 33 vacant positions, which will not be filled. No positions in patient care are affected.
50. Citing a need to further reduce overhead expenses and support additional investments in patient care and wages, Traverse City, Mich.-based Munson Health said it would eliminate 31 positions and leave another 20 jobs unfilled. All affected positions are in corporate services or management. The layoffs represent less than 1 percent of the health system’s workforce of nearly 8,000.
51. West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health on Nov. 16 laid off 52 corporate employees as the health system shrinks from six hospitals to four. The layoffs, which are expected to save $15 million a year, account for 13 percent of Tower Health’s corporate management staff.
52. Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Healthannounced layoffs affecting an undisclosed number of staff in October, a decision its CEO said was made “to streamline leadership structure and simplify operations” in certain areas. The layoffs primarily affect nonclinical areas.
53. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland closed its inpatient and emergency room care Nov. 11, four days before originally planned — and laid off 978 workers in doing so. After the transition, the Sisters of Charity Health System will offer outpatient behavioral health, urgent care and primary care.
Renton, Wash.-based Providence has reported a $345 million operating loss in the first quarter on revenue of $6.8 billion.
While revenues were up on the same period in 2022, expenses also rose 5.1 percent to total $7.1 billion. The operating loss compares with a $510 million loss in the first quarter of 2022.
Improving non-operating income, mainly from investment returns, helped mitigate the net loss to $117 million compared with an $840 million net loss in the same period last year, excluding the disaffiliation of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Hoag.
The 51-hospital system reiterated it is taking a number of initiatives to reduce some of its costs under its Destination Health 2025 Recover and Renew plan. One of those prime areas of focus is reducing staffing costs, particularly in regard to contract labor, which continues to be a challenge for Providence.
“With current labor shortages, the use of premium labor, including the number and wage rate of agency nurses, continues to be significantly higher than in previous years,” management said in its filing. “Several initiatives are underway to reduce those expenses in combination with increasing core productivity.”
Providence is also undergoing portfolio management reassessment to try and improve efficiencies and save costs, according to the filing.
The system, which had $7.8 billion long-term debt as of March 31, provided $563 million in community benefit in the first quarter, up from $412 million in the same period of 2022.
“Together, we will continue meeting the health care needs of our communities, no matter how challenging the environment gets, and will ensure the mission of Providence thrives for years to come,” Rod Hochman, MD, Providence president and CEO said in the filing.
As care continues to shift to lower cost ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), the graphic above looks at recent growth and consolidation in the ASC market.
From 2012 to 2022, the five largest operators increased their collective ownership of ASC facilities from 17 to 21 percent, and were responsible for over 50 percent of total facility growth in that period.
While physicians still fully own over half of the nation’s ASCs, the national chains tend to run larger, multispecialty facilities responsible for an outsized proportion of procedures and revenue.
The likes of Tenet, Optum, and HCA are betting big on ASCs, banking on projections that the market will grow by over 60 percent in the next seven years.
(Though AmSurg’s parent company, Envision Healthcare, filed for bankruptcy, AmSurg is buying Envision’s remaining ASCs to retain its significant foothold in the market.)
While many high-revenue specialties, notably orthopedics and gastroenterology, have already seen a significant shift to ASCs, cardiology is one of the most promising service lines for ASC growth, with some predicting that a third of cardiology procedures will be performed in ambulatory settings in the next few years.
The shift of surgeries from hospitals to ASCs is daunting for health systems, who stand to lose half or more of the revenue from each case—if they’re able keep the procedure within the system.
In the meantime, low-cost ASC operators will continue to add new facilities that deliver high margins to fuel their growth.
Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health reported $88 million in operating income for the first quarter of 2023 on revenues of $3.8 billion.
Such figures compared with $95 million operating income on $3.6 billion of revenues in the same period last year.
The positive first-quarter operating income figure builds on a 2022 operating income of $278 million. Overall income for the first quarter totaled $220 million compared with a $166 million loss in the same period in 2022.
Sutter Health, which is undergoing some executive management changes, employs 51,000 people and operates 282 care facilities.
The Cigna Group beat investor expectations and reported a 10 percent growth in membership year over year, according to the company’s first quarter earnings published May 5.
“Our strong results in the first quarter demonstrate how our company continues to execute well, while also introducing innovative, market-leading solutions that improve clinical outcomes, affordability and transparency for the benefit of those we serve,” Chair and CEO David Cordani said.
Total revenues in the first quarter were $46.5 billion, up 6 percent year over year.
Evernorth revenues rose 8 percent year over year to $36.2 billion. The insurance side of the business, Cigna Healthcare, reported first-quarter revenues of $12.8 billion, up 13 percent from the previous year.
In the first quarter, net income was $1.3 billion, up 6 percent year over year.
The company’s medical loss ratio was 81.3 percent in the first quarter, compared to 81.5 percent during the same period last year.
As of March 31, Cigna had 19.5 million total medical members, up 10 percent year over year.
For 2023, the company projects revenues of at least $188 billion. Full-year adjusted income from operations is projected to be at least $7.36 billion, or at least $24.70 per share.
Franklin, Tenn.-based CHS, which reported a net loss of $20 million in the first quarter on revenues of $3.1 billion, is on the hunt for new acquisitions just as it is also in discussions to sell off more assets.
“We are considering further opportunities to expand our portfolio,” CEO Tim Hingtgen said in a webcast discussing first-quarter results.
Selling off certain assets would also help balance the system and further reduce some of its debt, President and CFO Kevin Hammons confirmed on the call.
“Moreover, we may give consideration to divesting certain additional hospitals and non-hospital businesses,” CHS said in an SEC filing. “Generally, these hospitals and non-hospital businesses are not in one of our strategically beneficial services areas, are less complementary to our business strategy and/or have lower operating margins. In addition, we continue to receive interest from potential acquirers for certain of our hospitals and non-hospital businesses.”
The health system, which operates 79 hospitals in 15 states, has agreed to sell four more hospitals effective Jan. 1, the filing stated.
CHS recently completed the $92 million sale of Oak Hill, W.Va.-base Plateau Medical Center to Charleston, W.Va.-based Vandalia Health. It also finalized on Jan. 3 an $85 million sale of its former 122-bed facility in Ronceverte, W.Va, also to Vandalia Health.
CHS shares were trading at $6.24 before its results were released. It is currently trading at approximately $3.70.