Ascension bounces back with $5.7B net income

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St. Louis-based Ascension rebounded in fiscal year 2021, ending the period with higher revenue and net income, according to financial documents

The 146-hospital system reported operating revenue of $27.2 billion in fiscal year 2021, up from $25.3 billion a year earlier. 

Net patient service revenue increased in the most recent fiscal year, but the growth wasn't attributed to higher patient volume. Hospital admissions, emergency room visits and urgent care visits declined year over year due to surges of COVID-19 and patient hesitation to seek care, the system said. 

Ascension's expenses climbed 3.8 percent to $26.7 billion in fiscal year 2021. The increase was attributed to several factors, including higher salaries, wages and supply expenses. 

Ascension ended the most recent fiscal year with operating income of $676.3 million, compared to an operating loss of $639.4 million in fiscal year 2020. 

After factoring in nonoperating items, including investment income, Ascension reported net income of $5.7 billion in fiscal 2021. A year earlier, the health system posted a net loss of $1.04 billion. 

As of June 30, Ascension had 341 days cash on hand, compared to 284 days at the end of fiscal 2020.

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