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Covid-19 impacts bottom line at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Margie Manning



Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Operating revenue is up at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, but the hospital is still losing money.

A March 18 decision to defer elective medical procedures, brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, was one factor among many in the loss, parent company Johns Hopkins Health System said in a quarterly financial report to bondholders.

A request for comment from Johns Hopkins All Children’s was pending return.

The 259-bed pediatric hospital in St. Petersburg reported $122.6 million in operating revenue for the three months ended March 31, a 2.25 percent increase from the same quarter in 2019. The operating loss for the just-ended quarter was nearly $14.2 million, compared to an $11.5 million operating loss in the year-ago period.

There was an even wider gap between the operating loss for the nine months ended March 31, 2020 and the same period a year ago. The loss from operations was $16.3 million for the just-ended nine-month period, compared to $5.9 million a year ago. Operating revenue for the nine months ended March 31, 2020 was $382 million, up about 0.5 percent year over year.

The pandemic and deferred elective procedures caused a decline in patient volume that impacted the entire Johns Hopkins Health System, the financial report said. The system has received CARES Act federal funding to offset some of the revenue declines and expenses incurred in relation to its Covid-19 response. On April 22, Johns Hopkins Health System announced several measures further to mitigate revenue shortfalls, including temporary leadership salary reductions, temporary benefit reductions, limited targeted furloughs, a hiring freeze and cancellation or delay to all non-critical capital projects, the report said.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s resumed elective surgeries and other elective patient encounters May 4.

Other factors in the operating loss at All Children’s were interest and depreciation costs associated with the new research building that opened in September 2018 and increased labor, consulting and supply costs, including CAR-T therapy cases, the financial report said. In CAR-T therapy, a patient’s own immune cells are re-engineered in the lab to seek out and kill cancer cells when infused back into the patient.

The hospital also continues to implement a corrective action plan, following a high number of patient deaths at its Heart Institute. All Children’s and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed a system improvement agreement in 2017. It was scheduled to expire on April 26, but was extended until June 29 at All Children’s request to ensure the improvements are sustainable and systemic, the financial report said. It’s expected the deadline could be extended by CMS because of the Covid-19 crisis, the report said.

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