Ascension's net income hits $1B in Q1

St. Louis-based Ascension saw its net income reach $1.2 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which ended Sept. 30, according to recently released financial documents

In the same quarter in fiscal 2020, the health system recorded a net loss of $234.7 million. 

The 145-hospital system reported operating revenue of $6.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, up 2.5 percent from the same period a year earlier. Net patient service revenue was $6 billion in the first quarter, a decline of 1.4 percent compared to the same period of last year.

Operating expenses remained largely flat year over year, increasing just 0.8 percent to $6.5 billion. Ascension said the slight increase was due to a boost in salaries, wages and employee benefits, but it was offset by system efforts to manage expenses to volumes. 

Ascension recorded an operating income of $143.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. This compares to an operating loss of $23.1 million in  the same period a year earlier. 

Nonoperating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 reached $1.2 billion, compared to a nonoperating loss of $186 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Ascension said it recorded net impairment, restructuring and nonrecurring losses of $9.2 million, primarily due to one-time termination and restructuring expenses.

The health system said that "consumer confidence and healthcare hesitation as a result of COVID-19 continue to affect Ascension markets, to varying degrees."

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Ascension recognized $184.9 million in federal relief funding.

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