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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Atrium says revenue soared 15% in 2023, net income topped $1.1 billion

Atrium Health says operating revenue in its Charlotte-area and Georgia hospital systems soared 15% to $9.3 billion in 2023, helping push operating profit to $452 million.

Including investment and other non-operating income, Atrium reported total income of $1.1 billion last year, compared with a loss of $744 million in 2022. The earlier year included a nonoperating loss of $738 million because of sagging stock and bond markets.

The Charlotte-based subsidiary of Advocate Health had budgeted an operating loss of $66 million for 2023. Instead, demand for health care soared, while investment returns rebounded with the markets. “Patient demand could not be at a higher level,” Rodney Ball, the chief financial officer for Atrium’s Southeast region, said at a board meeting Tuesday.

He cited strong increases in inpatient stays, surgeries and both emergency-room visits and medical-practice outpatient visits. Patient days increased 2%, surgical procedures gained more than 9% and ER visits increased 5%.

Revenue growth outstripped a 9% increase in operating expenses, Ball said. Personnel costs make up 54% of total expenses in the region, which includes the Charlotte area and parts of Georgia where Atrium owns hospitals. It doesn’t include Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Health or the Advocate system in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Advocate Health’s total annual revenue tops $28 billion, making it the third-largest not-for-profit U.S. hospital operator.

Atrium says it saved $300 million last year by hiring fewer contract nurses and other staffers. The hospital industry has blamed soaring labor costs in recent years on a greater dependence on traveling nurses.

The hospital system spent $681 million, or 7.3% of revenue, on capital expenses last year.

In December, Atrium announced a 3% increase in prices for the coming year.

Separately, the 20-member Atrium board approved a bylaw change that enables Advocate CEO Eugene Woods to be responsible for picking the president and other officers of the Charlotte hospital system, in consultation with the board. Previously, the board alone had that responsibility.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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