Partners posts $45M gain for fiscal '09

Despite losing money for the first nine months of its fiscal year, Partners HealthCare has turned things around financially, posting a $45 million gain for its 2009 fiscal year.

The state of Massachusetts' largest healthcare system, Partners is the nonprofit parent of Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and other healthcare providers, and its results are closely watched by the industry.

Having reported an $18 million loss for the first nine months of fiscal '09, Partners was in danger of posting the first annual loss in its 15 years of operation. Its gain fell 57.5 percent from the $106 million it posted in fiscal 2009, largely due to nonoperating losses of $119 million coming mostly from hits to its $4.6 billion investment portfolio.

On the other hand, its operating performance has remained steady; in fact, Partners hospitals have added roughly 800 to 900 jobs over the fiscal year, while other facilities nationwide were making deep cuts.

Partners attributes its final-inning turnaround to an improvement in the value of its investments, which fell like a stone in the first half of this year. With an operating margin of 2.2 percent, Partners can't afford to see investment income drop too steeply, so the markets picked up just in time.

Get more information on these results:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe

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