Ascension posts $957M net income in Q3, says pandemic caused $1.9B hit

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Although St. Louis-based Ascension ended the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 with an operating loss, nonoperating gains pushed the health system to record a sizable net income in the period, according to recently released financial results. 

The 146-hospital system saw its revenue increase to $6.6 billion in the quarter ending March 31, up from $6.4 billion recorded in the same period one year prior. Ascension's expenses also increased year over year by 2.4 percent to $6.6 billion.

Ascension posted an operating loss of $16.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, compared to an operating loss of $429.4 million recorded in the same quarter of fiscal 2020. 

Ascension said it recognized $110 million in grants from the Provider Relief Fund during the quarter, and, without the aid, it would have had an operating loss of nearly $138 million.

The health system said the pandemic has resulted in $1.9 billion in lost revenue and pandemic-related expenses as of March 31 of this year. 

"Although the Provider Relief Funds do not fully cover this negative impact, consistent with our mission to serve patients and communities and because of strong stewardship, Ascension was able to absorb the remaining negative financial impact through other operations," the health system said. 

After factoring in nonoperating items, including a more than $1 billion investment gain, Ascension ended the third quarter of fiscal 2021 with a net income of $957.3 million. Last year in the same quarter, Ascension posted a $2.7 billion net loss.  

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