Ballad Health profits decline by 22% in latest earnings report

Ballad Health generated $17 million in profits in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year that ended on June 30, a 22% decline from the same period the year before.

The Tennessee-based hospital system reported on Tuesday earning $1.9 billion in revenue for the 12 months that ended on June 30, a decline from the $2.1 billion the year before. The system not only faced major expenses from the COVID-19 pandemic but also due to the implementation of a new electronic medical record system.

“Excluding the impact of [COVID-19], the results demonstrate significant reductions in the cost of healthcare for employers, patients and taxpayers; substantially higher quality that shows top-decile performance in certain measures; and improved patient satisfaction,” the 21-hospital system said in a statement.

Net profits prior to expenses associated with the new EMR system and the pandemic was a $48.4 million loss compared with the prior year profits of $25.6 million. 

Like other hospital systems across the country, Ballad’s overall volume declined due to the cancellation of elective procedures and hesitancy of patients to go to the hospital.

Acute patient discharges in the quarter declined by 22.6% and surgeries performed in the hospital decreased by 29.3%.

But Ballad reported that it got $82.5 million in federal relief funding. The money from a $175 billion fund passed by Congress a few years ago was meant to help providers weather the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

After incorporating the relief funding, profits for the quarter was $17.1 million.

Several major hospital systems such as HCA and Tenet said in their latest earnings that the relief funds contributed to profit gains.