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Profits are up at local hospitals

Healthcare is top issue for Florida voters.
Healthcare image, healthcarereformflorida.com

Profits are increasing at local hospitals, according to quarterly disclosures. Combined, Adventist Health System, Orlando Health, South Lake Hospital and Health First have made $647-million dollars in profit so far this year.

That’s an increase of 28 percent compared to the same period last year. Profit margins have also increased. Orlando Health Vice President of Finance Paul Goldstein says this has been a record year for the hospital.

“The fact that our profits are strong this year is not an indication of perpetual condition," Goldstein said. "A couple years ago, it looked very different."

What’s changed? They cut expenses, and are seeing more patients, patients who are more sicker. They're also seeing more patients with Obamacare insurance.

But with those increased profits come increased scrutiny from Governor Rick Scott and his commission on hospitals. Scott has ordered an audit of more than 100 hospitals in Florida, including eight here – just not any of the ones we’ve mentioned so far.

“I think it’s something we’re certainly aware of and watch closely," Goldstein said.

Moody’s Investor Service recently upgraded its outlook from negative to stable, the first change since the Great Recession.