COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–All three Columbus adult hospital systems and Nationwide Children’s not only recovered from the pandemic’s financial hit in the last fiscal year – they posted record-high revenues in 2021. OhioHealth Corp. topped $5 billion for the first time.

Operating incomes also were healthier for their fiscal years ended June 30.

Mount Carmel Health System – just shy of $2 billion revenue for the first time – resumed its historic pattern of single-digit operating margins – 2.3% – after two consecutive years of losses, according to audits of parent Trinity Health.

OhioHealth posted its first 10% operating margin, according to an analysis by Columbus Business First of audits dating back to 2001, the last time Central Ohio’s largest system had an operating loss.

The system barely broke even in FY2020. Thanks largely to investment returns not reflected in operating income, OhioHealth’s pool of assets designated for future expansion or to cushion against financial blows swelled to $6.7 billion.

Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center had an operating margin of 8.5%, similar to 2020s 8.8%, on revenue of $4.6 billion.

Hospitals across the state struggled in fiscal 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic simultaneously increased expenses dramatically and strangled revenue when the state ordered delaying nonessential procedures mid-March through May. In Columbus, revenue more than rebounded for fiscal 2021: Year-over-year increases were 8% for Mount Carmel, 11% for Ohio State, and 15% for OhioHealth.

Federal Cares Act aid contributed to the recovery, although in general, the awards were greater in 2020 than 2021: $145 million vs. $23 million for Ohio State and $117 million vs. this year’s $89 million at OhioHealth.

Ohio State is budgeting for a smaller surplus this year as it spends cash to keep down debt on building its $1.8 billion replacement main hospital tower, officials said in spring.

Mount Carmel topped its record revenue of fiscal 2018 before it declined over two consecutive years. The four-hospital system is the third-largest in Michigan-based parent Trinity, representing 10% of its revenue.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in a different category than the acute-care systems, reports its results on a calendar year.

It had an operating income of $180.5 million on $2.9 billion revenue in the year ended Dec. 31, according to its audit. The pandemic did not break its streak of setting a revenue record every year.

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