Tuition Rises at OHSU in Spite of Higher Revenues, Philanthropy

OHSU anticipates receiving the $50 million surplus note from Moda Health that was used for transformation initiatives.

Oregon Health & Science University’s operating income rose $83 million in fiscal 2015, $26 million over target based on patient revenue, board members learned yesterday. They also decided to raise tuition by as much as 4 percent for incoming students.

Existing students can count on the same tuition as when they entered medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing or other schools under OHSU’s “tuition promise.”

“I don’t like our tuition where it is,” said Jeanette Mladenovic, provost and vice president for academic affairs, adding that three years ago OHSU was among the most expensive state schools for “just about everything.”

This year OHSU “made it down to 19” on that list and, for the first time, dental school tuition was held to a 2 percent increase, lower than what she called “astronomical” hikes of 18 percent in the previous years.

With the $1 billion raised from the Knight Challenge grant, Lawrence Furnstahl, OHSU’s chief financial officer said OHSU now has a net worth of $653 million, an increase of 25 percent.

Between fiscal year 2013 and 2015—the years spanning implementation of the Affordable Care Act, OHSU’s net patient revenue per case rose from $14,200 to $15,800, or about 11 percent.

Furnstahl said OHSU’s 2016 budget targets include the following:

  • 7 percent revenue growth to $2.6 billion, led by nearly 3 percent patient activity growth and the first year of spending from the Knight Cancer Challenge grant.
  • $120 million in operating income
  • Holding costs flat in 2016 with a goal of reducing controllable expenses by 10 percent over a 4-5 year timeframe
  • $161 million annual capital budget, with 55 percent spent on existing infrastructure and 45 percent on new facilities
  • $62.5 million for design completion and the first quarter of construction of additional South Waterfront research facilities and ambulatory hospital
  • $100 million in 30-year, fixed-rate taxable bonds to improve liquidity, and fund new corporate partnerships
    • Be reimbursed $50 million for the surplus note from Moda Health for transformative transformation projects
  • $240 million in variable- and fixed-rate tax-exempt bonds for construction of the Center for Health and Healing-South project

OHSU’s bond rating has also been rising, reducing interest expense by about $10 million a year, falling from 2 percent to 1 percent of total revenues.

Jan can be reached at [email protected].

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