WPAHS lost $137.6 million in past fiscal year

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The West Penn Allegheny Health System lost $137.6 million in the fiscal year ending June 30 which, combined with its $84.8 million deficit in 2012, means the health system has now lost more than $220 million the past two years.

This happened despite a slight increase of $3.1 million in net patient revenue in fiscal 2013 from a year earlier. That gain, however, was more than offset by an additional $33.9 million in expenses, attributed primarily to increases in compensation for WPAHS staff as the health system recruited new physicians and re-opened services at West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield.

The health system hopes to regain its financial foothold in coming years now that it has become the centerpiece of Highmark's Allegheny Health Network as of April 29.

WPAHS spokesman Dan Laurent said Monday the growing losses underscore "the importance of our affiliation with Highmark and the formation of Allegheny Health Network as a new integrated health care system for the region, adding that "we are pursuing an aggressive turnaround effort to strengthen our financial position and ensure that our hospitals and services remain vital and sustainable over the long run."

The results were disclosed in West Penn Allegheny's unaudited annual report released Monday evening.

The report also shows that WPAHS saw its inpatient discharges fall 4.1 percent in 2013 after declining 6.4 percent in fiscal 2012.

Its acute care discharges numbered 53,572 in 2013, compared with 56,146 in fiscal 2012 and well off the 76,464 discharges in 2009.

The health system has 77.6 days' cash on hand, up from 62.2 days a year ago, and its projected pension obligation of $273.8 million compares with $278.7 million a year ago.

WPAHS employs 11,689 full-, part-time and temporary workers and has 1,788 active medical staff.

Steve Twedt: stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.

First Published October 28, 2013 7:59 PM

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