Jefferson Health lost $48.7 million in first half of fiscal 2024. That’s a big improvement from last year.

February 15, 2024 4:14 pm


Jefferson, the Philadelphia region’s largest health by number of hospitals, is aiming to break even in the full fiscal year.

Torresdale Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia is among the 17 hospitals owned by Thomas Jefferson University.Torresdale Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia is among the 17 hospitals
owned Thomas Jefferson University.


Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health’s loss in the first half of fiscal 2024 was sharply lower than last year, thanks in part to a large decline in expenses for contract labor and strong demand for inpatient services, according to a financial report released Wednesday.

Jefferson, the biggest health system in the Philadelphia region by number of hospitals, posted a $48.7 million operating loss in the six months ended Dec. 31, down from $83.4 million the year before. Its revenue was $4.8 billion, up 4% from $4.6 billion.

“Jefferson is on a steady path toward continued financial health,” Jefferson’s chief financial officer John Mordach said in an interview.

Jefferson’s goal for the full fiscal year, which ends in June, is to get close to break-even — as it did in October, November, and December. To meet its annual goal, Jefferson has to make enough in profits through June to erase its losses in the fiscal year’s first six months.

Signs of financial progress

One sign of financial progress for Jefferson: So far, it is not reporting unusual items that boost results in the current fiscal year.

Last year, Jefferson’s loss would have been even bigger had it not benefited from business sales, including $25 million from the sale of an interest in Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization, and $24 million in COVID-related government aid.

This year, Jefferson changed how it accounts for property depreciation, but provided no financial details on one-time gains in its financial report to bondholders.

The improved results also reflect unspecified savings from job cuts in July. On Dec. 31, Jefferson had the equivalent of 35,525 full-time employees, down 2% from 36,355 on June 30. It was not clear how much of that reduction was from layoffs. Also on the labor front, Jefferson’s spending on contract labor, mostly nurses, fell by $31 million, to about half of last year’s level.

Lehigh Valley Health System, which Jefferson has a tentative agreement to acquire, also released financial results Wednesday. If that deal is completed, it will create a 30-hospital system that stretches from Scranton into South Jersey.

Lehigh Valley reported a $37 million operating loss on $2.1 billion in revenue in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared to a $32 million loss on $2 billion in revenue the year before. The nonprofit based in Allentown said it cut 475 full-time-equivalent jobs last fall, some from layoffs, some from eliminating vacant jobs. The organization employs 20,000.