CommonSpirit posts $800M net income in Q1

CommonSpirit, a 139-hospital system based in Chicago, saw revenues rise in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 and ended the period with an operating gain. 

CommonSpirit, formed last year through the merger of San Francisco-based Dignity Health and Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives, reported revenues of $7.7 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, up from $7.2 billion in the same period a year earlier. 

The health system's operating expenses increased year over year. It reported total expenses of $7.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, compared to $7.4 billion in the same period last year. 

CommonSpirit ended the first quarter of fiscal 2021 with operating income of $167 million, compared to an operating loss of $227 million a year earlier. 

The health system said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect its financial performance. Excluding funding made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, CommonSpirit would have reported a $25 million operating loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. 

The system said patient volumes were down in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Inpatient admissions on a same-facility basis were down 6.4 percent year over year. Patient volume began to rebound in September, with admissions down 5.2 percent year over year. 

"Despite the significant headwinds created by the pandemic, we have taken huge strides with our financial and operational performance," CommonSpirit CFO Dan Morissette said in an earnings release. "While we will undoubtedly continue to face challenges in the months ahead, we have taken meaningful steps to improve our performance, manage our expenses, and meet the health needs of our patients and communities across the country."

After factoring in nonoperating income of $649 million, CommonSpirit ended the first quarter of fiscal 2021 with net income of $800 million, compared to a deficit of revenues over expenses of $285 million a year earlier. 

"CommonSpirit's improved financial results build on financial progress and strategic planning in recent months," the system said. "The pandemic has accelerated the standardizing of key clinical and operational processes, with the organization implementing a new enterprise performance dashboard to track the company's operational performance and financial health." 

CommonSpirit said the COVID-19 case count at its facilities is up more than 50 percent since October, though still significantly below its mid-August peak. 

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