Ascension posts $1.4B Q1 operating loss

A decline in COVID-19 funding and sustained expenses issues helped lead St. Louis-based Ascension to a $1.8 billion operating loss in the nine months ending March 31.

The nine-month loss was on revenue of $21.3 billion. In the quarter ending March 31, the 140-hospital system reported an operating loss of $1.4 billion on $6.9 billion in revenue.

Such losses compared with $640 million and $671 million deficits in the nine-month and three-month periods, respectively, ending March 31, 2022.

Expenses for the nine-month period increased 3.7 percent on the previous year to total $22.3 billion.

"The reduction in COVID-19 funding negatively impacted revenue in the current year," Ascension management said in the filing. "Additionally, challenges to expenses continue to persist resulting from the inflationary environment."

The operating losses were offset by improved non-operating income in the first three months of 2023 but not over the nine-month period, which saw a net deficit of $1.9 billion.

Ascension, which operates 2,600 sites of care across 19 states and Washington, D.C., had 219 days of cash on hand as of March 31 compared with 259 at the same time last year.


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