Ascension reports $3B annual operating loss

St.Louis-based Ascension, one of the largest health systems in the country, has reported a full-year operating loss of $3 billion on revenue of $28.35 billion, compared with an $879.2 million loss on $27.98 billion in revenue last year, according to recently released financial documents.

The $3 billion figure includes $1.5 billion of nonrecurring losses and impairment in the fiscal year ending June 30. That $1.5 billion figure compares with a gain of $26 million in 2022.

Expenses rose 4.1 percent over the previous year to total $29.9 billion. Salaries and wages decreased 2.5 percent to total $11.8 billion.

"Since the height of the staffing and labor challenges experienced in FY22, the system’s implementation of certain economic improvement plans have focused on stabilization of the workforce and have contributed to a reduction of agency staffing rates and utilization," Ascension said.

The net loss for the 140-hospital system totaled $2.5 billion as investment returns helped mitigate the operating decline. Net loss for the prior year totaled $1.9 billion.

Ascension said its balance sheet and liquidity levels remain strong with sufficient liquidity to continue to provide care for patients, despite the economic challenges resulting from recent economic conditions including investment market volatility.

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