Advocate Aurora's net income, revenue bounce back in Q2

Financial earnings increase
Nonprofit system Advocate Aurora Health credited vaccinations and other COVID-19 recovery efforts for widespread gains across its operations. (Getty/FroYo_92)

Although much of its $739 million second-quarter net income came from its investments, Advocate Aurora Health also saw consistent gains across its operating income, overall revenue and operating margins.

“As the vaccination rates have increased and other mitigation strategies to contain the virus along with remediation efforts that have taken effect in 2021, operations have improved in the six months ended June 30, 2021,” the system wrote in financial filings published Friday.

The Illinois- and Wisconsin-based system posted nearly $3.5 billion in total revenue versus $2.9 billion during the previous year and $3.3 billion during 2021’s opening quarter.

Advocate Aurora also logged $214 million in operating income during the quarter versus a loss of more than $217 million during the same period last year.

Total expenses grew year over year from $3.1 billion to $3.25 billion, with the difference primarily tied to supplies, purchases services and contracted medical services.

The numbers translated to a 6.5% operating margin for the second quarter, a stark turnaround from the negative 6.8% of the previous year and a fair improvement over the first quarter’s 2% margin. This put the system at a six-month operating margin of 4.3% versus last year’s negative operating margin of 4.1%.

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Total nonoperating income for the quarter came in at $546 million, largely driven by $572 million from investment income. These were down from last year’s $628 million and $645 million, respectively.

Utilization trends during the three-month period saw year-over-year increases for hospital outpatient visits (4.7%), home care visits (11%), observation cases (4.7%) and physician visits (0.2%), while discharges were down 5% compared to last year. However, utilization was up across the board when looking at the first six months of 2021 and 2020.

Advocate Aurora said it hasn’t received any COVID-19 relief funding throughout the course of 2021, nor did it receive any advance payments for Medicare services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recouped roughly $70 million in advance payments so far this year, with $215 million still remaining on Advocate Aurora’s books.

The system also put a $187 million price tag on its April 1 acquisition of Senior Helpers, an in-home care company with more than 320 franchised and corporate-owned locations in the U.S. and abroad.

Advocate Aurora runs 26 hospitals and more than 500 outpatient locations. It posted $558 million in full-year earnings for 2020—less than half of the $1.4 billion it had claimed during 2019. The system said it has 340 days of cash on hand as of June 30.