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Partners HealthCare reports $185 million loss (DS)

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By Shawn Rhea
Posted: February 20, 2009 – 3:00 pm EDT

Partners HealthCare System, the 10-hospital, Boston-based system that includes 907-bed Massachusetts General and 746-bed Brigham and Women’s hospitals, lost $185 million during the first quarter of its fiscal 2009, according to the provider’s newly released quarterly report.

The net loss was the result of a $244 million loss on investments and interest-rate swaps, which was partially offset by $59 million in operating income that Partners earned during that same period. The healthcare provider reported earnings of $81 million in the year-ago quarter, which included a $64 million gain on investments.

“While we do not rely on investment income to support our operations, the loss of nonoperating revenue has had a significant effect on our ability to finance our capital spending,” said Peter Markell, Partners’ vice president of finance, in a written statement. “As we announced last quarter, we have scaled back our five-year capital spending program to reflect the decline in investment assets.”