Duke University Health System rakes in record operating income in FY 2015

Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C., reported  record operating income of $355 million for the 2015 fiscal year, the highest grossed in the health system's history, reports The Chronicle.

Hospital officials attributed the unprecedented operating income to infrastructural and IT investments, leading to a greater-than-expected increase in patient volume.

"For the three or four years leading up to this past year, we had made a series of investments in facilities and information systems that helped to relieve capacity constraints limiting growth," Kenneth Morris, DUHS senior vice president, treasurer and CFO , told The Chronicle.

The health system completed construction of its Duke Medicine Pavilion and Cancer Center — worth a combined $781 million — in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Mr. Morris estimated the health system's expanded capabilities and treatment capacity in intensive care, surgery and oncology contributed to the 18 percent revenue growth in FY 2015, up from two to three percent in previous years, according to The Chronicle.

DUHS officials also noted improvements in billing procedures contributed to the financial windfall by reducing operating costs.

"We strengthen revenue by doing a better job of coding and documentation so that we are getting paid for what we are doing," Mr. Morris told The Chronicle. "And we reduce expenses in areas like supply chain and labor management."

DUHS is comprised of Duke University Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital in Durham and Duke Raleigh (N.C.) Hospital. 

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