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2020 Hospital Operating Margins Down 96% Through July

CHICAGO, Aug. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hospital Operating Margins have plunged 96% since the start of 2020 in comparison with the first seven months of 2019, according to a new Kaufman Hall report, as uncertainty and volatility continue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those results…

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CHICAGO, Aug. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hospital Operating Margins have plunged 96% since the start of 2020 in comparison with the first seven months of 2019, according to a new Kaufman Hall report, as uncertainty and volatility continue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those results do not include federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Even with that aid, however, Operating Margins are down 28% year-to-date compared to January-July 2019.

Operating Margins fell 2% year-over-year in July without the CARES Act relief, according to the latest edition of Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report. Hospitals also saw flat year-over-year gross revenue performance in July, continued high per-patient expenses, and a fifth consecutive month of volumes falling below 2019 performance and below budget. 

From June to July, however, hospital Operating Margins were up 24%, likely due to a backlog in demand resulting from the shutdown of many non-urgent services in the early months of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has created a highly volatile operating environment for our nation’s hospitals and health systems,” said Jim Blake, managing director, Kaufman Hall. “Hospitals have shown some incremental signs of potential financial recovery in recent months. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee these trends will continue, and hospitals still have a long way to go to recover from devastating losses in the early months of the pandemic.”

July volumes continued to fall year-over-year, but showed some signs of potential recovery month-over-month. Adjusted Discharges were down 7% compared to July 2019, but up 6% compared to June 2020. Adjusted Patient Days were down 4% year-over-year, but up 7% month-over-month. Adjusted Discharges are down 13% and Adjusted Patient Days are down 11% since the start of 2020, compared to the first seven months of 2019.

Hospital Emergency Department (ED) volumes have been hardest hit, falling 17% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2019, down 17% year-over-year, and 13% below budget in July. Surgery volumes saw some gains with the continued resumption of non-urgent procedures pushing Operating Room Minutes up 3% month-over-month and 4% above budget in July, but they remain down 15% year-to-date.

Not including CARES Act relief, Gross Operating Revenues were essentially flat year-over-year and 2% below budget for the month, but have fallen 8% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2019. Inpatient Revenue is down 5% year-to-date and fell 3% below budget in July, but increased 1% year-over-year. Outpatient Revenue is down 11% year-to-date, 1% year-over-year, and 2% below budget.

Hospitals nationwide also continued to see higher per-patient expenses despite having fewer patients. Total Expense per Adjusted Discharge has jumped 16% year-to-date compared to the same seven-month period in 2019, and rose 9% year-over-year and 5% above budget in July. Labor Expense per Adjusted Discharge is up 18% year-to-date and rose 9% year-over-year and 5% above budget in July. Non-Labor Expense per Adjusted Discharge has increased 15% during the first seven months of 2020 and jumped 11% year-over-year and was 5% above budget for the month.

The National Hospital Flash Report draws on data from more than 800 hospitals.

Kaufman Hall experts are available for comment; please contact Philip Anast at [email protected].

About Kaufman Hall
Kaufman Hall provides management consulting solutions to help society’s foundational institutions realize sustained success amid changing market conditions. Since 1985, Kaufman Hall has been a trusted advisor to boards and executive management teams, helping them incorporate proven methods, rigorous analytics and industry-leading solutions into their strategic planning and financial management processes, with a focus on achieving their most challenging goals.

Kaufman Hall services use a rigorous, disciplined, and structured approach that is based on the principles of corporate finance. The breadth and integration of Kaufman Hall advisory services are unparalleled, encompassing strategy; financial and capital planning; cost transformation; treasury and capital markets management; and mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and joint ventures.

Press Contact:
Philip Anast
Amendola Communications (for Kaufman Hall)
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 312-576-6990

SOURCE Kaufman Hall

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/2020-hospital-operating-margins-down-96-through-july-301116888.html

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Hurricane Epsilon Marks 10th Hurricane of the 2020 Hurricane Season

BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — ClimaCell, the world’s leading All-in-One Weather Intelligence Platform™, tweeted that Tropical Storm Epsilon has now been upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane, with maximum sustained winds at 115 mph, marking the 10th hurricane of a jam-packed 2020…

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BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — ClimaCell, the world’s leading All-in-One Weather Intelligence Platform™, tweeted that Tropical Storm Epsilon has now been upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane, with maximum sustained winds at 115 mph, marking the 10th hurricane of a jam-packed 2020 season, and the 26th named storm overall.

Residents of Bermuda have been placed on tropical storm watch in the meantime, and the surrounding areas are on a lower warning.

Epsilon’s Unpredictable Path

Epsilon has been given hurricane forecasters quite some difficulty in working out both its future path and its likely intensity. Epsilon is forecast to move west-northwest for the rest of the week, before eventually turning on itself towards the east.

It’s not forecast to make landfall around the United States. However, it is expected to continue moving towards warmer sea temperatures, although these waters’ surface heat is also expected to drop within the next 48-36 hours, likely weakening Epsilon as they do.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

2020 has seen an overall increase in both predicted and actual storm systems and hurricanes.

A pre-season forecast initially predicted around 15 named storms, including seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

As of today, towards the end of the season, there have been 26 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes.

Hurricane Epsilon’s appearance has broken the record of being the earliest named 26th storm system of any Atlantic hurricane season, beating the previous record of 2005’s also-named Hurricane Epsilon.

Coincidentally, the most active hurricane season on record was also in 2005, where 28 tropical cyclones formed, 15 of which evolved into hurricanes, including the infamous, highly destructive Hurricane Katrina.

ClimaCell will be keeping you up to date with everything you need to know about Hurricane Epsilon, in real-time, so keep up to date by checking back here.

Idan BO

Phone: +972-330-30-858

Email: [email protected]

SOURCE ClimaCell

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/hurricane-epsilon-marks-10th-hurricane-of-the-2020-hurricane-season-301158351.html

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TransAlta Renewables Executes 15-year Contract Extension in Western Australia with BHP Nickel West

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – TransAlta Renewables Inc. (“TransAlta Renewables” or the “Company”) (TSX: RNW) announced today that Southern Cross Energy (“SCE”) has amended and extended its current power purchase agreement (“PPA”) with BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd (“BHP”)…

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CALGARY, AB, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – TransAlta Renewables Inc. (“TransAlta Renewables” or the “Company”) (TSX: RNW) announced today that Southern Cross Energy (“SCE”) has amended and extended its current power purchase agreement (“PPA”) with BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd (“BHP”) in respect of SCE’s 245 MW of generation facilities in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. The amendment to the PPA replaces the previous contract that was scheduled to expire December 31, 2023. The Company owns an indirect economic interest in SCE.  

“This is an exciting announcement for our Australian business and continues a strong relationship with our customer BHP Nickel West,” said John Kousinioris, President and Chief Executive Officer of TransAlta Renewables. “Western Australia is an important market for us, where we have been operating for over 24 years.”

The PPA amendment extends the term to December 31, 2038 and provides SCE with the exclusive right to supply electrical energy to BHP’s mining operations located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. The amendment preserves SCE’s current economic benefit to 2023, while also providing SCE a return of and on new capital investments which will be required to support BHP’s future power requirements and recently announced emission reduction targets. The PPA provides BHP with the ability to integrate renewable electricity generation, including solar and wind, with energy storage technologies, to meet its emissions reduction targets and deliver lower carbon, sustainable nickel to its customers. The amended PPA also provides BHP participation rights in new capital investments, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.    

The evaluation of renewable energy supply and carbon emissions reduction initiatives under the extended PPA with SCE are already under way, including an 18.5 MW solar photovoltaic farm at Nickel West’s Leinster and Mount Keith operations, supported by a battery energy storage system. A 17 MW waste heat steam turbine system at the Kalgoorlie Smelter is also being evaluated to provide low-emissions electricity from furnace heat recovery. 

About TransAlta Renewables Inc.

TransAlta Renewables is among the largest of any publicly traded renewable independent power producers (“IPP”) in Canada. Our asset platform and economic interests are diversified in terms of geography, generation and counterparties and consist of interests in 23 wind facilities, 13 hydroelectric facilities, seven natural gas generation facilities, one solar facility, one natural gas pipeline, and one battery storage project, representing an ownership interest of 2,537 megawatts of owned generating capacity, located in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, the States of Wyoming, Massachusetts, Minnesota and the State of Western Australia. Our objectives are to (i) provide stable, consistent returns for investors through the ownership of, and investment in, highly contracted renewable and natural gas power generation and other infrastructure assets that provide stable cash flow primarily through long-term contracts with strong counterparties; (ii) pursue and capitalize on strategic growth opportunities in the renewable and natural gas power generation and other infrastructure sectors; (iii) maintain diversity in terms of geography, generation and counterparties; and (iv) pay out 80 to 85 per cent of cash available for distribution to the shareholders of the Company on an annual basis.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Information

This news release contains forward looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words “expect”, “anticipate”, “continue”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “should”, “propose”, “plans”, “intends” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking information or statements. More particularly, and without limitation, this news release contains forward looking statements and information relating execution of the and the potential benefits of the contract renewal; the integration of renewable electricity generation, including the 18.5 MW solar photovoltaic farm at Nickel West’s Leinster and Mount Keith operations, and a 17 MW waste heat steam turbine system at the Kalgoorlie Smelter. These forward looking statements are based on a number of assumptions considered by the Company to be reasonable as of the date of this news release, including, but not limited to, the following: no significant changes to applicable laws and regulations, including any tax and regulatory changes; no significant changes to our relationship with BHP; and assumptions regarding our current strategy and priorities, including as it pertains to behind-the-fence investment in Western Australia. The forward looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual performance, events or results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward looking statements, which include: disruptions to natural gas fuel source, changes in economic and market conditions; changes in tax, environmental, regulatory and other laws and regulations; and other risks and uncertainties discussed in the Company’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time and as also set forth in the Company’s Annual Information Form and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed under the Company’s profile with the Canadian securities regulators on www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this news release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward looking information except as required by law.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all financial figures are in Canadian dollars.

SOURCE TransAlta Renewables Inc

Related Links

http://www.transaltarenewables.ca

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/transalta-renewables-executes-15-year-contract-extension-in-western-australia-with-bhp-nickel-west-301158466.html

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Hurricane Epsilon Marks 10th Hurricane of the 2020 Hurricane Season

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Press Release updated: Oct 22, 2020 20:00 EDT


ClimaCell, the world’s leading All-in-One Weather Intelligence Platform™, tweeted that Tropical Storm Epsilon has now been upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane, with maximum sustained winds at 115 mph, marking the 10th hurricane of a jam-packed 2020 season, and the 26th named storm overall.

Residents of Bermuda have been placed on tropical storm watch in the meantime, and the surrounding areas are on a lower warning.

Epsilon’s Unpredictable Path

Epsilon has been given hurricane forecasters quite some difficulty in working out both its future path and its likely intensity. Epsilon is forecast to move west-northwest for the rest of the week, before eventually turning on itself towards the east.

It’s not forecast to make landfall around the United States. However, it is expected to continue moving towards warmer sea temperatures, although these waters’ surface heat is also expected to drop within the next 48-36 hours, likely weakening Epsilon as they do.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

2020 has seen an overall increase in both predicted and actual storm systems and hurricanes.

A pre-season forecast initially predicted around 15 named storms, including seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

As of today, towards the end of the season, there have been 26 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes.

Hurricane Epsilon’s appearance has broken the record of being the earliest named 26th storm system of any Atlantic hurricane season, beating the previous record of 2005’s also-named Hurricane Epsilon.

Coincidentally, the most active hurricane season on record was also in 2005, where 28 tropical cyclones formed, 15 of which evolved into hurricanes, including the infamous, highly destructive Hurricane Katrina.

ClimaCell will be keeping you up to date with everything you need to know about Hurricane Epsilon, in real-time, so keep up to date by checking back here.

Idan BO

Phone: +972-330-30-858

Email: idan@regomarketing.com

Source: ClimaCell

Source: https://www.newswire.com/news/hurricane-epsilon-marks-10th-hurricane-of-the-2020-hurricane-season-21240508

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