Ascension revenue increases while profits slump 39%

St. Louis-based Ascension reported operating income of $133.1 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to operating income of $138 million a year ago.

Although the system's operating income was down, revenue was up for the quarter, increasing to nearly $5.1 billion, up from about $5 billion in the same period of 2014. Ascension's net patient service revenue grew to nearly $5 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2015, up from $4.8 billion in the comparable period of last year.

The system said the revenue growth was largely attributable to inpatient admissions, observation days and emergency room visits increasing at Ascension's facilities as more people are receiving care as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. Outpatient, surgical, behavioral health, home health and urgent care center visits also increased at Ascension's facilities.

While the system's expenses only increased slightly in the third quarter, the system did take a hit on its investments, which led to its net income dropping nearly 39 percent to $228.1 million.

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Editor's note: This article was updated May 14. It previously referred to Ascension as Ascension Health.

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