Providence St. Joseph Health turns around $255M operating loss in 2017

Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health posted operating income of $3 million in fiscal year 2017, improving a $255 million operating loss the 50-hospital system reported in fiscal year 2016.

The change comes after the nonprofit hospital system implemented a cost-cutting plan involving layoffs, with 210 jobs cut in August 2017.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, the health system reported operating revenue of $23 billion, up 5 percent from the previous year, according to recent financial documents. Providence St. Joseph attributed the gains to greater patient volumes.

At the same time, the health system's operating expenses also grew to $23 billion, up 3 percent from the prior year, due to increased patient volumes, salary and wages, and supply costs.

After accounting for nonoperating gains, Providence St. Joseph ended 2017 with net income of $780 million, down 85 percent from $5.2 billion reported in 2016. The prior year included a $5.2 billion nonoperating gain associated with Providence's 2016 affiliation with Irvine, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health.

Providence St. Joseph Health is reportedly in talks to merge with St. Louis-based Ascension. If successful, the combined nonprofit entity would be the largest hospital operator in the nation.

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