Ballad Health reports 1.3% revenue jump in Q2

Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health saw its revenue and operating cash flow increase in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.  

Eight things to know about the system's financials for the three months and six months ended Dec. 31:

1. The system reported a 1.3 percent increase in revenue and a 0.6 percent increase in expenses for the second quarter, compared to the same period the year prior.

2. Ballad Health ended the second quarter with operating cash flow of $54.7 million, up 8 percent year over year from $50.7 million.

3. The system said its improved financial performance in the second quarter was driven by expense management, productivity improvements, less reliance on contract labor, and supply cost management.

4. In the six months ended Dec. 31, Ballad Health reported spending more than $500 million on salaries, wages and benefits. It projects it will spend more than $1 billion on the region's labor force in the current fiscal year.

5. But the system also noted challenges it faces, including declining volumes in certain services. Ballad Health said adjusted discharges for the first half of 2019 declined 1.5 percent to 122,037, while inpatient surgeries declined 0.9 percent to 10,704. Outpatient surgeries, including ambulatory surgical cases, and emergency room visits also declined, 0.4 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

6. Alan Levine, chairman, president and CEO of Ballad Health, also noted a 10 percent reduction in the hospital readmission rate in the first two quarters of 2019 compared to the same period a year prior, as well as a 25 percent reduction among the system's legacy hospitals.

7. Mr. Levine said in a statement: "Many of the quality metrics that we've seen improve have led to lower costs. Shorter length of stay, reduced rates of hospital-acquired conditions, reduced readmissions and better integration with physicians has helped reduce the cost of care and has helped Ballad Health achieve success with the new value-based purchasing environment."

8. Ballad Health said it has also invested nearly $60 million in capital this fiscal year for new equipment, diagnostic technology, IT and building improvements.


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