Trinity Health joins other operators battered by pandemic, details CARES funding

Dive Brief:

  • Battered by the novel coronavirus, Trinity Health reported an operating loss of $206 million, before other items, for the three months ended March 31, its fiscal third quarter. In the month of March alone, surgical volumes plummeted 25% when comparing the same facilities to the prior-year period.
  • Expenses outpaced revenue growth, leading to an operating loss of $103.5 million for the first nine months of the fiscal year for the Michigan-based nonprofit operator.
  • Overall, coupling the declines in patient volumes due to the pandemic and significant investment losses, Trinity reported a net loss of $883.5 million for the first nine months.

Dive Insight:

Trinity joins a long list of other hospital operators that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the last few weeks of March.

Similar to other systems, Trinity has tried to weather the downturn by freezing new capital projects, cutting executive pay, implementing furloughs and redeploying staff to different roles within the system.

Still, it’s hard to predict the ultimate impact the pandemic will have on the health system with a geographic reach that spans 22 states and 92 acute care hospitals.

In November, before the pandemic, ratings agency Fitch noted Trinity has a broad national presence and payer mix. This is likely to help it navigate the downturn better than smaller operators fixed to one region.

Fitch also noted that many of Trinity’s key markets have favorable demographics such as “above average population growth” and “the system’s combined Medicaid and self-pay percentage of patients is low.”

During this time, Trinity has tried to boost its liquidity through various measures and said it has 178 days cash on hand.

Plus, the federal government has issued providers grants from a pool of $175 billion to keep them afloat. Trinity disclosed that it has so far received $600 million in grant money.