SSM Health reports $16.5M Q1 operating loss

St. Louis-based SSM Health reported higher operating expenses in the first quarter of 2023, which dragged the system to an operating loss of $16.5 million.

Revenues increased 13.3 percent over the same period in 2022 to total $2.5 billion, but expenses were also up significantly, 11.2 percent overall. Salaries and benefits rose 10.6 percent to total just over $1 billion.

The operating loss compared with a loss of $57.4 million in the first quarter of 2022.

"The impact on operating income was offset by higher operating expenses due to increased labor expense and inflationary costs of supplies," management said in the filing. "When compared to the fourth quarter of 2022, operating expenses remained flat, while operating revenues saw improvement."

The negative operating figures were mitigated by improved investment returns which saw overall income for the 23-hospital system rise to $74 million compared with a $147.3 million loss in the 2022 period.

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