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Excela's operating loss $2.8M in quarter

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 11:32 p.m.

Excela Health swung to a loss on its operations in the July-September quarter as patient volume at its three Westmoreland County hospitals declined.

Greensburg-based Excela reported a $2.8 million loss from operations, compared with $340,000 in operating income in the same three-month period last year.

Hospital admissions and observations fell 5 percent to 8,294, down from 8,737 the year before.

“Soft volume is part of the continuing downward trend in inpatient admissions that all Western Pennsylvania hospitals are experiencing,” said Tim Loch, Excela's incoming chief financial officer. Loch will take over for retiring CFO Jeff Curry in February.

In the last five years, admissions have dropped in Western Pennsylvania by at least 2 percent a year, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. There were an estimated 493,000 admissions for the year ended June 30, down from 543,082 in 2008.

Excela's net income for the quarter, which includes investment income and other non-operating gains, was $4.6 million, compared with a net loss of $10.2 million in the same quarter last year.

The system, which owns hospitals in Greensburg, Latrobe and Mt. Pleasant, reported total operating revenue of $115.0 million in the period, down from $116.0 million the year before. Operating expenses rose 1.8 percent to $117.8 million.

“Although that represents just a small part of what we do to care for the community, Excela Health has done an excellent job at effectively managing expenses and meeting patient needs beyond the hospital setting,” Loch said.

In addition to owning hospitals, Excela employs 120 physicians in Westmoreland County, runs a medical equipment supply company and operates a large and expanding outpatient services center.

Excela is adding more outpatient services at its Excela Square at Norwin facility in North Huntingdon to increase patient volume in the system and make care more convenient and less costly for patients.

It also plans to replicate the outpatient centers in Unity and Hempfield in coming years, officials have said.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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