Some hospitals see positives in recession

Nationwide, many hospitals are struggling to stay afloat. However, some facilities are starting to chart a course toward prosperity.

For instance, operating income at Children's Hospital in Boston grew 38 percent to $80.5 million in fiscal year (FY) 2009 ended Sept. 30 thanks to an uptick in patient-related revenue, reports the Boston Business Journal.

Net patient-service revenue topped $1.03 billion, 11 percent higher than the $926 million posted in FY 2008. Total revenue for FY 2009 was $1.29 billion, a 10 percent increase over FY 2008. The hospital's investment portfolio rose 4.3 percent in fiscal 2009 to $557.6 million and achieved a $27.9 million total return compared to $75.9 million loss the previous year.

Patient service revenue at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Inc. in Boston grew to $445.3 million in FY 2009 ended Sept. 30, up from $391.2 million in FY 2008, reports another Boston Business Journal article. Total revenue was $807.8 million for FY 2009 vs. $737.6 million in FY 2008. Operating income rose 33.8 percent to $17.4 million from $13 million in FY 2008.

Dana-Farber's volume growth can largely be attributed to its focus on outpatient care, suggest analysts. Despite the growth, the hospital had to cut its budget by $10 million and eliminate about 100 positions to improve financial stability.

National Jewish Health in Denver, a 24-bed nonprofit respiratory hospital, is reaping the rewards of a 10-year strategic plan to increase services that it began implementing in 2007. Revenues increased from $149 million in 2008 to $170 million in 2009, largely driven by patient services. Patient services revenue jumped 60 percent over a two-year span, increasing to $78.1 million in 2009 from $49.1 million in 2007. In addition, National Jewish turned around a $2 million loss in patient services for 2007 to a $2 million profit in 2009.

For more information:
- read this Boston Business Journal article on Children's Hospital
- here's the Boston Business Journal article about the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- check out this Denver Business Journal article