Report: Geisinger Wyoming Valley posts positive margin, Wilkes-Barre General negative

By Mark Guydish - [email protected]
Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, seen here, posted a substantial income over expenditures, or margin, in the 2018 fiscal year, with a positive total margin. Times Leader file photo Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, seen here, posted a substantial income over expenditures, or margin, in the 2018 fiscal year, with a positive total margin. - Times Leader file photo

According to a new look at hospitals statewide, Geisinger Wyoming Valley posted a substantial income over expenditures, or margin, in the 2018 fiscal year, with a positive total margin — patient care plus any non-patient care operations such as stores — just shy of 16 percent, well above the state rate of 6.6 percent.

Wilkes-Barre General, by comparison, posted a negative total margin of -1.9 percent.

The annual report on the financial analysis of General Acute Care hospitals is prepared by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, an independent state agency created to collect, analyze and report information about both the cost and quality of health care in the Commonwealth.

Overall trends cited in the report:

• The amount of uncompensated care — noncollectable debt and charity care — decreased statewide by 2 percent, or about $16 million, down to a total of $750 million. That represents about 1.7 percent of net patient income.

The total margin — the amount of total income compared to total spending — dropped slightly, by 0.05 percentage points. Statewide the total margin in the previous report was 6.67 percent. It is down to 6.62 percent in this report.

PHC4 breaks the state into 9 regions, with Luzerne, Wyoming and Lackawanna Counties in region 6, along with six other counties. Region 6 posted the third-highest total margin in the new report, 8.65 percent. The highest margin was posted in region 4, at 10.76 percent (10 counties in the center of the state), with the second highest in region 7 (five counties south of this region and north of Philadelphia) at 9.15 percent

Geisinger Wyoming Valley saw net patient revenue increase from $518 million to $560 million from 2017 to 2018. Wilkes-Barre General saw a decrease from $281 million to $279 million. Lehigh Valley Hazleton, the third hospital in Luzerne County, saw net patient revenue drop slightly, from $117 million to $112 million, but managed to post a healthy total margin of 8.7 percent.

Despite having a total margin more than double the state rate, Geisinger Wyoming Valley did not have the best margin in region 6. That belonged to Guthrie Troy Community Hospital, along U.S. Route 6 west of Towanda, where the total margin was 23.6 percent. It’s important to note, though, that Troy operates on a much smaller scale, with 2018 net patient revenue of on $26 million, compared to a statewide average of $270 million.

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, seen here, posted a substantial income over expenditures, or margin, in the 2018 fiscal year, with a positive total margin.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_Geisinger3toned.jpgGeisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, seen here, posted a substantial income over expenditures, or margin, in the 2018 fiscal year, with a positive total margin. Times Leader file photo

By Mark Guydish

[email protected]

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish