Three area hospitals were in good financial health, according to the latest Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.
Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and the former Hazleton General Hospital all had positive operating margins after covering operating expenses in the 2014 annual report released this month by PHC4. They also had positive total margins when non-operating income from other sources was added.
However, only Geisinger Wyoming Valley operated for the full 2013 fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. The other two operated on a calendar year and their numbers covered the time period of Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2012.Of the three, only Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is a for-profit institution under the umbrella of publicly traded parent company Community Health Systems Inc. based in Franklin, Tenn.
The report looked at 173 licensed, general acute care hospitals across the state that operated for part of the 2013 fiscal year. The hospitals offer specialty acute care including surgery for patients requiring more than a 24-hour stay. They also might provide emergency care.
“The level of income needed to keep a hospital financially healthy will be different for each individual hospital or health system,” the report said. The level depends on factors that include, the condition of its plant and equipment, amount of debt, assets available for capital improvements, the mix of care provided by the hospital, the level of payment risk and the current and future needs of the market a hospital serves, the report said.
The report identified the income as either operating margin or total margin. “Total margin reveals the composite financial health of a facility during the year. If total margin is negative, the hospital is losing money after considering all sources of revenue and income,” the report said.
Hazleton General, now Lehigh Valley Hospital Hazleton, reported an operating margin of 13.56 percent and a total margin of 16 percent. Its three-year average total margin for the 2011-2013 fiscal years was 14.74 percent.
Geisinger Wyoming Valley reported an operating margin of 6.97 percent and a total margin of 8.47 percent. Its three-year total margin was 8.97 percent. Along with Hazleton General it placed among the 42 hospitals statewide with a three-year total margin greater than 8 percent.
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital reported an operating margin of 6.04 percent and a total margin of 3.54 percent. Its three-year average was 3.30 percent.
All three local hospitals were above the statewide average operating margin of 4.69 percent that decreased from 5.73 percent from the previous fiscal year.
Geisinger Wyoming Valley reported the highest net patient revenue of $418 million for the period among the 15 hospitals in the nine-county region that included Northeastern Pennsylvania. Its NPR for the 2012 fiscal year was $400 million. Its three-year average change in NPR for the fiscal years 2010 -2013 was 11. 42 percent. Total operating expense for the period was $395 million compared to $375 million TOE for the previous year and its three-year average change was 9.42 percent.
In comparison Wilkes-Barre General reported $267 million NPR for fiscal year 2013 compared to $261 million NPR fiscal year 2012. Its three-year average change in NPR was not available. TOE for fiscal year 2013 was $255 million compared to $249 million in fiscal year 2012. Three-year average change in TOE was not available.
Hazleton General’s NPR for fiscal year 2013 decreased to $99 million from $100 million for the previous year. Its three-year average change in NPR was 1.14 percent. TOE for the 2103 fiscal year was $89 million compared to $88 million for the previous year. Its three-year average change in TOE was -1.21 percent.
The report included data on provider payment and uncompensated care for each hospital:
• Geisinger Wyoming Valley, uncompensated care 2.23 percent, Medicare share of NPR 32.50 percent and Medical Assistance share of NPR 6.29 percent.
• Hazleton General Hospital, uncompensated care 2.22 percent, Medicare share of NPR 43.58 percent and Medical Assistance share of NPR 9.01 percent.
• Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, uncompensated care 2.40 percent, Medicare share of NPR 45.64 percent and Medical Assistance share of NPR 5.32 percent.