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Scripps Health net income suffers on investment returns

A more than 50% drop in investment gains cut into Scripps Health’s net income in its fiscal 2018.

The San Diego-based not-for-profit health system recorded a nearly 36% drop in revenue over expenses attributable to Scripps during its fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30, to $225.5 million. At the same time, Scripps managed to boost its operating income by 25%, from $68.4 million in fiscal 2017 to $85.7 million in the recently-ended fiscal year.

Scripps rounded out the year with total operating revenue of $3.2 billion, up 11% from $2.9 billion in fiscal 2017. During that period, expenses increased 10.7% to nearly $3.2 billion, compared with $2.9 billion in fiscal 2017.

Scripps spent $18 million providing charity care in fiscal 2018, or 0.6% of its operating revenue, compared with $19 million in fiscal 2017, about 0.7% of its operating revenue that year. That’s lower than the 1.4% of collective operating revenue the 20 largest U.S. health systems dedicated to charity care in fiscal 2016, according to a Modern Healthcare analysis.

As of Sept. 30, Scripps had about $154 million worth of construction and information technology projects in progress.

Scripps officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Scripps isn’t the only health system affected by 2018’s disappointing equity markets, especially relative to 2017’s favorable returns. Kaiser Permanente’s non-operating income fell 52% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, which ended Sept. 30, mostly due to volatile equity markets.