Kaiser Permanente reports $2.1B profit, 2.9% operating margin in Q2 2023

Kaiser Permanente built on 2023’s strong start with $2.08 billion of net income during the quarter ended June 30, bringing its midyear total to about $3.29 billion, the integrated system announced late Friday.

Operating income was also strong at $741 million (2.9% margin) and raised the organization’s six-month performance to $974 million (1.9% margin).

The numbers are both a sequential improvement and a stark turnaround from 2022. By the midpoint of that year, Kaiser Permanente was reporting a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter and an $89 million operating gain (0.4% margin). Across 2022’s first half, the system had been down a total of $2.26 billion and added just $17 million from operations (0.0% margin).

The Oakland, California-based nonprofit is likely safe from repeating the nearly $4.5 billion net loss and $1.3 billion operating loss of full-year 2022.

Leadership, however, noted that the integrated system historically sees higher operating margins during the first half of the year “due in part to the annual enrollment cycle and seasonal care.”

“Our second-quarter financial results reflect operational improvements that, together with our ongoing expense reduction efforts, will help us face additional financial pressures in the second half of the year,” Kathy Lancaster, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Kaiser Permanente, said in a release. “The process of building our financial performance back to pre-pandemic levels requires that we continue to redesign our cost structure to support investments in our facilities, technology and people while staying competitive in a dynamic healthcare marketplace.”

Kaiser Permanente reported $25.17 billion in operating revenues for the second quarter, a 7.2% increase year over year. Operating expenses increased 4.5% year-over-year to $24.42 billion.

“Like all health systems, Kaiser Permanente is experiencing ongoing cost headwinds and volatility driven by inflation, labor shortages, and the lingering effects of the pandemic on access to care and service,” the system wrote in a release.

Kaiser Permanente’s membership has increased by more than 81,000 members since the start of the year and sits at almost 12.7 million as of June 30. The organization noted that it has kicked off an outreach campaign for Medicaid members “to ensure they have critical enrollment information as states go through the mandated process of eligibility redetermination.”

The largest impact on Kaiser Permanente’s bottom line came from investments. Owing to “favorable financial market conditions,” the organization recorded $1.34 billion in “other income and expense,” nearly a full reversal of the $1.39 billion loss on the same line item it’d logged during the same period last year.

The system’s capital spending reached $824 million for the quarter, which was up from $789 million during the second quarter of 2022 but a pullback from the first quarter of 2023’s $930 million.

“The post-pandemic financial pressures have led many in the industry to cut back on care and service,” CEO Greg Adams said in an accompanying statement. “At Kaiser Permanente, we remain focused on improving access and affordability for our patients, members and communities, which requires continued investment in care and coverage. … I want to thank all employees and physicians for turning the disruptions and challenges of the past three years into opportunities to make our healthcare system stronger and more equitable, with improved outcomes for all.”

Kaiser Permanente is the largest nonprofit health system in the country by revenue with more than $95 billion in annual revenues. As of June 30, it spanned 39 hospitals, 622 medical offices and 43 clinics in addition to its millions of covered health plan members.

Earlier in the year the system highlighted efforts to trim administrative and discretionary spending as well as a workforce push that improved clinical hiring by 15% year over year. It is in the midst of negotiating a new labor contract covering 85,000 unionized healthcare workers who are seeking workforce development investments and higher staffing levels across clinical settings.

The organization is also working toward its high-profile acquisition of fellow integrated nonprofit Geisinger Health, which Kaiser Permanente said would be the first step toward a cross-country value-based care organization called Risant Health.