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Hospitals’ Patient Revenue Up 11% Over Year to $6.9B

Net patient revenue at Orange County’s 28 largest hospitals jumped significantly over the past 12 months while the centers posted a narrow pretax loss.

The Business Journal’s annual hospitals list shows that revenue at the biggest hospitals here grew 11% to $6.9 billion in the period ended Sept. 30. Profits before taxes were down 1% to $422.7 million.

Profits at hospitals on the previous year’s slid 21%.

The list is ranked by net patient revenue. That and figures for pretax profit are provided mainly by California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Two hospitals’ numbers are Business Journal estimates.

Twenty-three hospitals reported that their net patient revenues increased, while three reported net patient revenue decreases. Two figures are estimates.

Ten hospitals reported their pretax profits decreased over the year, and seven reported profit increases. Four swung from losses to profits, and one swung to a profit from a loss. Four facilities posted back-to-back years of losses. Two hospitals declined to disclose their profit figures.

Hospital employment was up 2% to 42,242.

This year’s list is marked by several hospitals that had double-digit jumps in net patient revenue numbers, including a pair of smaller facilities.

• The largest revenue jump was by No. 17, College Hospital Costa Mesa, whose revenue grew 77% to $95.1 million. It offers medical, surgical and psychiatric services.

• No. 20, La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, which is owned by Ontario-based Prime Healthcare Services, saw its revenue increase 37% to $61.9 million.

• No. 24, Chapman Global Medical Center, had the largest swing from a loss to profit, posting pretax profits of $5 million compared to a loss of $450,515.

• In the meantime, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange maintained its No. 1 position on the list.

The teaching hospital’s net patient revenue grew 6.8% to $912.8 million. Its pretax profit was up 6% to $58.5 million.

• No. 2, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian’s net patient revenue was up 8.7% to $847.2 million. Hoag, which has campuses in Newport Beach and Irvine, saw a large profit slide, however, of 45.5% to $73.7 million.

The hospital’s pretax profit figure “is not an accurate picture of our financial health as it incorporates unrealized losses from our investment portfolio which is merely a reflection of the universal stock market performance over that period of time,” said Andrew Guarni, the hospital’s chief financial officer, in a statement.

• St. Joseph Hospital-Orange, the list’s No. 3 entrant, had net patient revenue growth of 11.4% to $583.2 million. The hospital, one of four owned by Irvine-based St. Joseph Health, posted a narrowed net loss of $944,804.

• Also in Orange, Children’s Hospital of Orange County leapfrogged to the No. 4 position from No. 7 a year ago.

CHOC’s net patient revenue was up 27.6% to $544.4 million. The pediatric hospital, with a main campus in Orange and a satellite facility at No. 5, Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, also had a turnaround, swinging to a profit of $19.7 million from a loss of $38.3 million a year ago.

The hospital’s swing to pretax profitability “was primarily driven by increased patient volumes, the timing of provider fee program approvals, and management of operating expenses,” said Kerri Ruppert Schiller, CHOC’s chief financial officer.

Schiller referred to California’s provider fee program, which uses monies assessed on all hospitals by the state government to draw matching federal funds. The state then issues supplemental payments to hospitals in order to draw a tighter patient safety net.

Mission, which also has a campus in Laguna Beach, saw its net revenue jump 11.8% to $525.3 million. Its pretax profit was down 74% to $17.5 million.

• Sister hospital St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton ranks No. 6. Its net patient revenue grew 9% to $492.8 million, but its profit was down 91% to $4.6 million.

St. Joseph Health also mentioned the provider fee and investments as affecting numbers for the time period.

“In comparing financials for Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015, net income adjusted for the impact of the California fee program and fluctuations in investments shows consistent or improved performance for Mission Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital Orange, and St. Jude Medical Center. We also continue to be fiscally strong for this current financial year,” said Susan Solomon, a St. Joseph Health spokesperson, in a statement.

• No. 7, Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente, which operates the county’s largest health maintenance organization, with some 520,000 members, wouldn’t disclose profit figures. The Business Journal estimates that Kaiser, which has hospitals in Anaheim and Irvine, had $450 million in net patient revenue.

• The list’s No. 8 hospital is Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center. The property of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. had a 28.7% jump in net patient revenue to $413.7 million.

Its pretax profit shot up 84.1% to $45.1 million.

• No. 9, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, owned by Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System, saw its net patient revenue drop 1% to $351.9 million. Pretax profit at Saddleback, which has campuses in Laguna Hills and San Clemente, rose 87% to $54.5 million.

• Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, also a MemorialCare property, rounds out the list’s top 10. Its net patient revenue was up 8.2% to $287.1 million, and its pretax profit rose 34.8% to $20.5 million.

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