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Lifespan’s 9-month profit is nearly $26M as patient volume rises

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Top Rhode Island hospital group Lifespan turned a profit once again in the spring quarter, buoyed by a continued rise in patient volume.

Lifespan said its operations turned a profit of $6.6 million in the quarter ending June 30, as net patient service revenue rose nearly 5%. Lifespan’s overall net profit for the quarter, including investment income, was $12.6 million. Total revenue for the quarter was $552 million.

For the nine months ended June 30, Lifespan’s operations have turned a profit of $14 million, and its net profit totaled almost $26 million, on total revenue of $1.6 billion.

Lifespan is the largest private employer in Rhode Island, with more than 14,000 employees as of last year at facilities including Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. The company appears on track to finish its fiscal year in the black, after its operations barely broke even last year and lost money in 2014-15.

Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Timothy Babineau argued the latest results are a sign of progress.

“Lifespan’s relentless focus over the past few years on improving the care we deliver and controlling the cost of that care — an effort which has been amplified due to our investment in a single enterprise-wide electronic health record (Lifechart) — has begun to yield some financial stability,” Babineau said in a statement. “In addition, the number of patients seeking care at a Lifespan facility continues to increase year over year.”

“While our profit margins remain minimal, we remain optimistic about our financial future despite an incredibly challenging operating environment,” Babineau said.

Lifespan’s performance continues to be markedly different from that of its top rival, No. 2 hospital group Care New England, whose operations lost $46 million through June 30. Care New England has been weighed down by its troubled Pawtucket facility, Memorial Hospital, and lower volume at its flagship, Women & Infants. Both companies have also complained about what they say are inadequate reimbursement rates from insurers and the government.

The new numbers come as Lifespan continues to track Care New England’s effort to sell Memorial and merge its other hospitals with Partners Healthcare, the largest hospital group in Massachusetts. Care New England’s CEO said Monday he is “confident” the Partners deal will go through despite reservations expressed by a top executive there about Care New England’s financial challenges. Lifespan itself has repeatedly tried and failed to take over Care New England.Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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