Allegheny Health Network reports 1st full year of positive earnings
Allegheny Health Network posted its first full year of positive earnings Wednesday and its top executives said the seven-hospital system is on firm financial footing.
In documents filed with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, AHN reported a net income, or profit, of $51.1 million for the year ending Dec. 31, compared with a $32.6 million loss the previous year. Officials said the earnings mark AHN's best financial performance since its formation in 2013, with operating and net income exceeding financial projections.
Revenue for 2017 came to $3.071 billion, up from $2.854 billion reported for the same period a year earlier. Fourth-quarter 2017 revenue was $781.125 million, less than the $790 million planned.
“We're all in sync,” said CEO Cynthia Hundorfean, noting the strong financial performance and stable patient volumes. AHN is a subsidiary of Highmark Health.
For the fourth quarter, the health care provider had a profit of $9.24 million, a big jump from its anticipated profit of $1 million. This is the fifth consecutive quarter AHN beat prior-year results and projections.
The number of emergency room visits was 10,000 fewer than anticipated in 2017. In addition, the number of doctor visits was nearly 20,000 fewer than planned. Still, doctor visits represented an increase of 100,000 from the prior year.
“We are very pleased with what we're seeing,” said Jeff Crudele, AHN's chief financial officer.
Officials attributed much of the decline in emergency room and doctor visits to AHN's investments in its same-day appointments program started a year ago. That program has lowered the need for trips to the emergency room. Also contributing to the decrease in visits was the introduction of its EPIC electronic health record at additional member hospitals.
When implementation is complete, all of AHN's care sites — from hospitals to physician practices — will be integrated into one electronic health record.
EPIC has a portal called My Chart that allows patients to access medical records and to schedule e-visits with physicians as well as office visits. To date, EPIC is at Allegheny General, West Penn, Jefferson and Forbes hospitals, as well as its Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion and most physician practices. It is expected to be launched this year at Saint Vincent and Allegheny Valley hospitals, said Dan Laurent, an AHN spokesman.
“It's radically changed the ability of patients to be seen,” Crudele said.
AHN officials also cited $115 million expansion and enhancement of services as St. Vincent Hospital, the opening of a Pediatric Orthopedic Institute in Wexford, as well as its $225 million commitment to expand the reach and quality of its cancer program through new facilities and enhanced collaborations with Johns Hopkins.
In the next four to six weeks, AHN will be announcing the locations of its three planned regional hospitals that will be built during the next two years through a partnership with Texas-based Emerus, a for-profit developer and management company.
The first hospital, announced this month, will be located at the intersection of Route 30 and Agnew Road in Hempfield . Besides the three other regional hospitals, AHN announced plans for a 160-bed, state-of-the-art hospital in Pine Township and renovation of existing facilities throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @41Suzanne.