Breaking it down
Operating revenue in Q1, at $16.3 billion, was $1.3 billion more than the comparable 2015 total of $15 billion. But operating income dipped 5.4 percent, from $741 million to $701 million, and Kaiser sustained a net non-operating loss of $197 million compared to a $301 million operating profit in 2015.
That was a hefty $498 million swing from one year to the next on the investment front.
Last year, Kaiser’s net income fell 39 percent, to $1.9 billion, even though operating revenue jumped nearly 8 percent, to $60.7 billion.
But senior officials told me last month that keeping premium rates “affordable” and growing Kaiser’s footprint is more important that squeezing out the highest possible profit margin, once the organization has earned enough to cover the costs of major capital programs.