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Hershey Med reports banner year

Fiscal year 2011-12 was Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s best financial year ever, Dr. Harold L. Paz said at the annual public board of directors meeting Wednesday.

Paz, who is CEO of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs and dean of Penn State College of Medicine, reported a best-ever operating margin of 10.43 percent.

He noted that investigators earned a record $106.9 million in external research support, despite a slight decrease in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Patient visits were up across the board, as follows: outpatient, 1.2 percent to more than 893,500; surgical, 1.8 percent to more than 27,600; overall hospital admissions, 0.7 percent to just more than 27,000; and emergency department, 5.5 percent to more than 64,400.

Also up was charity care, increasing to $51.7 million from $35.4 million last year. However, bad debt decreased to $51.3 million from $52.5 million last year.

This year also marked the launching of the Institute for Personalized Medicine and the launching of the college’s University Park regional campus, Paz said. And on Nov. 13, dedication ceremonies for the long-awaited new children’s hospital facility will begin.

Heather Stauffer

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