Outpatient Surgery: A Growing Hospital Revenue Generator

Gross outpatient revenue at hospitals has been on a steady rise over the past several years and is outpacing inpatient revenue. In 2010, gross revenue from outpatient procedures totaled $887.4 billion, which was up 10.5 percent from 2009.

Two recent hospital financial reports backed this trend. The 134-bed Bristol (Conn.) Hospital reported 192,283 outpatient visits in fiscal year 2011, according to a Hartford Courant report. This figure was up more than 9 percent from 2010, and it contributed heavily to the hospital's $132 million in revenue.

Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Health Care System, which includes the 806-bed Sarasota Memorial Hospital, reported operating revenue of $520.6 million in FY 2011 and operating income of $11.3 million, according to a Tampa Bay Business Journal report. The net patient service revenue was up 8.2 percent from 2010 in part due to the expansion of the hospital's outpatient programs and the addition of the Cape Outpatient Surgery Center.


Other major health systems have recorded increased outpatient surgeries as factors to higher revenues. In October, UNC Health Care posted total operating revenue of $1.05 billion for 2011, up 10 percent from 2010, thanks to higher outpatient rates.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recorded operating revenue of $2.4 billion for the period of July 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2011 — up $352 million from the same quarter last year — and its outpatient revenue was a huge source of growth. In that quarter, UPMC's outpatient revenue was up 33 percent from the same period the year before.

Outpatient surgery might also be a saving grace for some hospitals. Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee may convert to an outpatient center to curb some of its large financial losses. Outpatient surgeries comprised about 57 percent of Aurora Sinai's surgical procedures in 2010.

Related Articles on Hospital Outpatient Finance:

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