CHICAGO – May 13, 2022 – CommonSpirit Health released financial results today for its fiscal year 2022 third quarter. CommonSpirit recorded an operating loss of $462 million, a -5.4% margin, while EBITDA was $19 million, a .2% margin, when normalizing the results for income yet to be recognized for the California Provider Fee program awaiting CMS approval. The results reflected challenges faced by many health systems in the quarter including sharply higher supply, staffing and contract labor costs, staff availability, increased length of stay, and lower volumes at the beginning of the quarter due to the Omicron surge.
The Omicron surge had a significant unfavorable impact on volumes at the start of the quarter, impacting patient visits to acute and outpatient care sites as well as staff availability. Net patient and premium revenue per adjusted admission rose 1.1% compared to the prior year’s quarter. Adjusted admissions rose 3.7% compared to the prior year’s quarter, outpatient visits rose 3.2% and are now above pre-pandemic levels, and ED visits rose 15.1%. By March, volumes had begun to recover from the declines in January and February.
Volume improvements during the quarter were offset by increased expenses compared to the prior year’s quarter. Length of stay also increased, primarily due to placement issues due to lack of availability of skilled nursing beds for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Labor expenses per adjusted admission rose 8.2%, a result of significantly increased staffing costs impacting providers nationwide. Supply costs rose 4.1% compared to the prior year’s quarter. The organization is leveraging its scale to reduce costs as much as possible, including expanding internal nursing programs that are helping reduce contract labor costs, identifying synergies and reducing overhead costs, and standardizing purchased services approaches.
CommonSpirit’s COVID-19 patient census peaked at almost 4,500 patients early in the quarter, a significant total which was slightly higher than the previous high of more than 4,100 patients in January 2021. The total COVID-19 census dropped to less than 300 by the end of the quarter and has remained near that level.
“This was a challenging quarter for all hospitals, and CommonSpirit was no exception,” said CommonSpirit Chief Financial Officer Dan Morissette. “There were a number of unique factors that impacted our performance this quarter, and we will be focused on addressing these impacts in the months ahead. Our priority has been to maintain the availability of needed services for our patients and communities, even when that comes at a high cost as it did at the start of the quarter.”
CommonSpirit continued to pursue growth opportunities in key markets, prioritizing service areas where it has the ability to create a continuum of ambulatory, acute, and post-acute services. In February, CommonSpirit affiliate Centura announced the acquisition of two LifePoint Health hospitals in Colorado and Kansas; the transaction closed on May 1. In April, CommonSpirit and Trinity Health announced that Trinity Health would assume sole ownership of MercyOne, a health system in Iowa that had been jointly operated by Trinity Health and CommonSpirit (previously Catholic Health Initiatives) since 1998. The transaction is expected to close in early 2023.
On April 28, CommonSpirit announced that Wright L. Lassiter III had been selected as its next CEO, effective August 1. Lassiter will succeed Lloyd H. Dean, who announced his retirement last year. Lassiter brings 30 years of experience working in large, complex health systems, most recently at Henry Ford Health. As CEO since 2016, Lassiter led Henry Ford through the COVID-19 pandemic, significantly expanded its footprint and grew its revenue, and earned recognition for the system’s focus on employee well-being and a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. Lassiter is the current Board Chair of the American Hospital Association, and is known as a powerful voice for improving care and a champion for health equity.
CommonSpirit continues to take steps to address the health care worker labor shortage and prioritize the wellbeing of employees. CommonSpirit has advanced a strategic plan to grow the nursing workforce and reduce turnover, although the organization expects the impacts of the labor shortage to continue for some time. Key initiatives include a new system-wide nursing residency program that will start in the summer; expanding the company’s internal nurse staffing agency, as well as establishing regional floating nurse pools that can be deployed to different facilities; and growing the number of markets participating in its virtually integrated care model that leverages virtual nurses and other staff.
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. With its national office in Chicago and a team of over 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit operates 142 hospitals and more than 1,500 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2021, CommonSpirit had revenues of $33.3 billion and provided $5.1 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at www.commonspirit.org.