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OC Hospital Revenue Jumps Nearly 8% to $10.3B

Employment up 4.9% to 49,865

Orange County’s hospitals have continued their rebound since the pandemic struck in 2020, according to the Business Journal’s annual list of the 24 largest medical facilities here.

Net patient revenue climbed 7.9% to $10.3 billion for the year ended Sept. 30. That compares to a 9.6% increase last year and a 1% drop in 2020 when hospitals discouraged patient visits because of the pandemic.

However, the hospitals widely reported losses, totaling $3.5 million, compared to a $893.5 million pre-tax net income in the prior year.

Outpatient visits fell 4% to 3.7 million, compared to a 12% jump a year ago. Total employment increase 4.9% to 49,865.

UCI Tops

UCI Health retained its No. 1 position with the second straight year of double-digit growth—a 12% jump to $1.6 billion was preceded a year ago by a 14% increase.

UCI Health is growing by opening new facilities such as in Laguna Hills and starting new programs like in nuerosciences and heart and vascular.

“We started several new programs despite the pandemic, and we did not take our foot off the accelerator,” Chief Executive Chad Lefteris told the Business Journal.

When including some faculty payments, the total could be $2.2 billion, he said.

UCI Health, which has its principal facility in Orange, is currently spending $1.3 billion for a complex along Jamboree Road in Irvine. A cancer and surgery center should open early next year followed by a new hospital scheduled for 2025.

Leftaris noted the increase of healthcare buildings in Orange County.

“This is a very attractive place to grow,” he said. “This is best possible thing for our community. This creates better access and better care.”

Another building boom is going on at No. 2 Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, which reported sales climbed 8.2% to $1.4 billion. A year ago, its sales climbed 16%.

CEO Robert Braithwaite, who is spending $1 billion to expand in Irvine, wants to combine the best of academics with the private sector to become world class similar to the Mayo Clinic (see story, page 20).

CHOC Jump

Orange’s Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC) jumped three places to No. 4 by reporting a 41% jump in revenue to $919.1 million. The only hospital reporting higher growth was sibling No. 18 CHOC at Mission Hospital, which saw revenue increase 49% to $90.7 million.

Approximately half of the year-over-year revenue increase is due to greater inpatient and outpatient volumes, a CHOC spokeswoman said. The greater inpatient volume was led by neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) cases.

“Our emergency department volume began dramatically increasing in September 2022 due to a viral surge (RSV, COVID and Flu), and that volume surge continued through November 2022,” she said.

Part of the increase was due to COVID-19 reducing visits in the prior year, especially in the emergency department.

The other half of the year-over-year volume increase is due to the timing of recognition of supplemental Medi-Cal reimbursement under California’s Hospital Quality Assurance Fee program, she said.

Providence is a West Coast healthcare system with 52 hospitals including three of them in Orange County—St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton and Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. Respectively, they placed fifth, sixth and seventh, reporting growth between 1.6% to 5.4%. If revenue at the three hospitals were combined, it would total $2.3 billion, which would make it the biggest system in Orange County.

Another large system that continues to rebound was MemorialCare Health System, where its Fountain Valley facility rose sales by 8.6% to $390.2 million and its Laguna Hills center climbed 9.1% to $423.6 million.

Only three hospitals reported a decline in revenue; two years ago during the pandemic, 17 hospitals saw sales fall.

Anaheim Regional Medical Center reported the biggest decline, falling 9.9% to $167.3 million. Another large decline was Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center, where revenue dropped 9.8% to $352 million.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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