Banner Health's operating income drops 65% in Q1

Banner Health's revenue increased year over year in the first quarter of 2020, but the Phoenix-based system ended the period with a net loss. 

Banner Health reported revenue of $2.37 billion in the first quarter of this year, up from $2.33 billion in the same period last year, according to recently released financial documents. Strong patient volume before the COVID-19 pandemic helped push Banner's revenue higher in the most recent quarter. 

Banner said patient volumes dropped during the second half of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Inpatient and outpatient volumes at Banner's hospitals declined by 20 percent to 30 percent, and its ambulatory facilities saw declines of up to 60 percent. 

After factoring in a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase in expenses, Banner ended the first quarter of this year with operating income of $30.6 million. That's compared to the first quarter of 2019, when the health system posted operating income of $87.4 million. 

To help offset financial damage from the pandemic, Banner has received funds from the $175 billion in relief aid Congress has allocated to hospitals and other healthcare providers to cover expenses or lost revenue tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 22, Banner had received about $140 million in federal grants, which do not have to be repaid as long as the health system meets the terms and conditions of receiving the relief aid. 

Banner also applied for and received about more than $600 million in Medicare advance payments, which must be repaid. 

Banner reported investment losses of more than $580 million in the first quarter of this year, and ended the period with a net loss of $683.5 million. A year earlier, the health system reported net income of $327.5 million. 

More articles on healthcare finance:
Essentia Health lays off 900 employees
Tenet receives $2B in grants, advance Medicare payments
20 large hospital networks received $5B in federal bailout funds

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