Ascension posts $118.6M loss in Q3

St. Louis-based Ascension reported higher expenses in the three months ended Sept. 30 and ended the quarter with a loss, according to recently released financial documents. 

Third-quarter operating revenue was $7.2 billion, up from $6.9 billion for the same period in 2021. Operating expenses were $7.3 billion, also up from $6.9 billion compared to the third quarter of last year. 

Ascension posted an operating loss of $118.6 million in the third quarter compared to an operating gain of $24.9 million in the third quarter of 2021. However, for the same period, the 144-hospital system posted a $790.4 million loss on investments, down from a gain of $79.7 million the prior year. 

After factoring in nonoperating items, Ascension reported a net loss of $811 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30. A year earlier, the health system posted a net income of $80.4 million. 

"Ascension's operations and volumes are still recovering from the volatility and operational disruptions of the prolonged novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic," the health system said in its financial report. "These disruptions included historic staffing challenges due to ongoing workforce shortages and elevated labor costs along with sporadic closures of surgical and procedural areas. Operating performance improved from the preceding quarter (Q4 FY22), despite continued challenges for the three months ended Sept.30, 2022 (Q1 FY23)."

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