West Penn report projects progress

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The West Penn Allegheny Health System is projecting a jump in patient revenue this year to $1.66 billion, compared with the $1.49 billion it received in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

West Penn Allegheny also expects a yearly loss of $25.8 million for fiscal 2014, with a down-side projection of $86.8 million if it gets only half the projected admissions.

Either result would be an improvement over its $137.6 million loss in fiscal 2013.

The report demonstrates progress for the organization, said Dan Laurent, spokesman for West Penn Allegheny, which is now part of Highmark's Allegheny Health Network. He expects that to continue as AHN expands programs and services, and ramps up marketing efforts.

"Though we still have a lot of work to do, these first quarter results reflect those efforts and the progress we are making toward achieving that goal."

The numbers are included in a filing on WPAHS's unaudited results for the July-September period, posted on the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website. The filing can be viewed at http://bit.ly/19vijT8.

While anticipating better days ahead, West Penn Allegheny's first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year still shows it has a ways to go.

For those three months, WPAHS posted a $10.74 million loss, producing a negative 3.3 percent operating margin and negative 2.7 percent total margin. Its hospital bed occupancy rate during that period was 57 percent.

Inpatient discharges for acute and rehab patients also fell from 14,249 for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 to 13,762 in the recently completed quarter.

Though WPAHS is now part of the larger Allegheny Health Network, the five-hospital system is still required to file separate financial reports, as a condition of the state Insurance Department's approval of the merger between Highmark and WPAHS.

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

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