Report: Most Tower Hospitals Unprofitable in Fiscal 2021

WEST READING PA – Six of seven Tower Health hospitals – Reading Hospital was the sole exception – lost money in the healthcare system’s 2021 fiscal year ending June 30, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported Monday (Aug. 30, 2021). Of the six, Pottstown Hospital ranked third in financial losses, it added.

Only Tower Health’s flagship in Reading turned a profit, with an operating income of $191.7 million, according to the Journal story by senior reporter John George.

The top three with operating losses, it noted, were St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia, which Tower operates with Drexel University, $90 million; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville, $35.5 million; and Pottstown Hospital (at top), $34.3 million. Tower Health-owned Phoenixville, Jennersville, and Chestnut Hill hospitals also lost money, George wrote, but their amounts were not specified.

Tower Health Medical Group, which includes its family and specialty practice offices in Montgomery, Berks, and Chester counties and elsewhere, lost more than $220 million, George reported, but that sum also included restructuring costs.

There was good news, too. The system’s overall revenue increased to nearly $2.2 billion, up nearly 16 percent from fiscal 2020. Patient volume is up, too: in the fourth quarter alone, the Journal cited “emergency department outpatient visits were up 25.7%, outpatient surgeries were up 14%, and inpatient surgeries were up 10%.”

The story is based on “financial performance data” that was part of a Tower Health bond document filings last week. It noted that Tower Health had successfully reduced its overall operating loss from $415 million during 2020 to $243.8 million in 2021.

Pottstown, Phoenixville CEOs get new responsibilities

Within the Tower Health filings, the Journal said it also learned that longtime Phoenixville Hospital CEO Stephen Tullman will move to lead Brandywine and Jennersville hospitals effective Friday (Sept. 3). With that change, Pottstown Hospital CEO Richard Newell will serve as CEO of both Pottstown and Phoenixville.

The change results from movement by Claire Mooney, who is “stepping down as CEO of Brandywine and Jennersville hospitals in Chester County to take a position with another unnamed health system,” the Journal said.

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