Tower Health's operating loss more than doubles

Tower Health reported higher revenue in the 12 months ended June 30, but the West Reading, Pa.-based health system ended the period with an operating loss, according to recently released unaudited financial documents

The health system reported revenue of $1.96 billion in the fiscal year 2020, up from $1.75 billion a year earlier. Higher expenses and reductions in patient volume hindered revenue growth. 

Tower Health said expenses climbed nearly 21 percent year over year, to $2.3 billion in fiscal 2020. In the most recent fiscal year, the health system recorded $30.4 million in one-time expenses — $19.6 million related to Epic implementation costs at newly acquired hospitals, and the remainder was related to other one-time transaction costs. 

The health system ended fiscal 2020 with an operating loss of $378.2 million, compared to an operating loss of $178.8 million a year earlier. 

After factoring in nonoperating items, the health system recorded a net loss of $346.4 million in fiscal 2020. A year earlier the system reported a net loss of $141.9 million. 

To help offset financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, Tower Health furloughed 773 workers, which will result in annual savings of $76 million. The system also received $165 million in advance Medicare payments, which must be repaid, and $98 million in grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. 

The health system said it had 147 days cash on hand as of June 30, up seven days from a year earlier.

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