Ascension's operating income triples as its footprint expands

St. Louis-based Ascension saw revenues and operating income increase in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2019, which ended Sept. 30, according to recently released financial documents.

Ascension reported operating revenue of $6.16 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, up 11 percent from revenue of $5.55 billion in the same period a year earlier. The increase was largely due to revenue recorded by Chicago-based Presence Health facilities, which Ascension acquired in March. On a same-facility basis, operating revenue increased 1 percent year over year.

Ascension also saw patient volume rise due to the acquisition of the Presence facilities. During the three months ended Sept. 30, inpatient admissions, emergency room visits, observation days, inpatient surgeries and equivalent discharges increased. The system saw declines in those categories on a same-facility basis. Ascension said outpatient volumes increased 10.7 percent year over year and were up 0.5 percent on a same-facility basis.

After factoring in one-time costs and operating expenses, which climbed 11.1 percent year over year and were fueled by the Presence acquisition, Ascension ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 with operating income of $36.39 million. That's up from $11.48 million in the same period a year earlier.

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