The University of Kansas Hospital was one of the nation’s top-grossing nonprofit hospitals last year, according to a recent analysis.
The cost report data, assembled by the American Hospital Directory and cited in a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, showed the KU Hospital billing its public- and private-pay patients $3.96 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013.
Of the 50 top-grossing nonprofit hospitals, KU Hospital ranked 41st. The list was based on cost reports filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Jill Chadwick, a spokesperson for KU Hospital, says the billings should not to be confused with profits.
“Last year, we had about $43 million left over after you subtract out the discounts we were able to negotiate and you factor in what Medicare and Medicaid tell us they’re going to pay, and you add in all the uncompensated care,” she says.
Much of the $43 million, Chadwick says, was “put back into facilities, technologies and people.”
The hospital, she says, wrote off more than $51 million in uncompensated care in fiscal 2013.
Asked about the significance of the hospital’s billings ranking among the top 50, Chadwick says, “It means we’re growing. We are an academic teaching facility that cares for the sickest of the sick, we’re open 24/7, we had patients last year from almost all 50 states, we reached our NCI (National Cancer Institute) designation in 2012 and our organ transplant program is in the top 10 percent in the nation.”
Chadwick says the hospital is raising private-sector funds for construction of a 90-bed tower.
“We’re full,” she says. “We’re out of room and we’ve got people knocking on our door. We need 90 (more) beds just to keep up with patient demand.”
The top 5 grossing hospitals:
• University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian, $12.21 billion;
• The Cleveland Clinic, $11.63 billion;
• Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, $10.59 billion;
• Florida Hospital Orlando, $10.17 billion;
• Stanford (Calif.) Hospital, $9.41 billion.
A similar listing of for-profit hospitals last year showed Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, billing its patients $1.82 billion.
American Hospital Directory is an online data company based in Kentucky; Becker’s Hospital Review is a Chicago-based online publication that covers health care issues.
Dave Ranney is senior writer/editor with KHI News Service, an editorially independent reporting program of the Kansas Health Institute.