Ascension records $423M net gain on higher patient volume: 5 things to know

St. Louis-based Ascension reported $5.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, up 3.4 percent from revenue of $5.2 billion in the same period of the year prior, according to recently released unaudited financial documents.

Here are five things to know about Ascension's most recent financial results.

1. The revenue boost was partially attributable to an increase in patient volume. Ascension said inpatient admissions, inpatient surgeries and emergency room visits were up 4.3 percent, 3 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of FY 2017 compared to the same quarter of 2016.

2. Ascension said the increase in patient volume was primarily attributable to its acquisition of Glendale, Wis.-based Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in March.

3. Ascension saw expenses rise 3.8 percent year over year to $5.5 billion. This increase was due, in part, to higher costs related to salaries, wages and employee benefits.

4. Ascension ended the first quarter of FY 2017 with an operating margin of 3.1 percent. That's up compared to an operation margin of 2.2 percent in the same period of the year prior.

5. The system recorded net income of $423.1 million in the first quarter of FY 2017, compared to a net loss $604.8 million in the same quarter of 2016.

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