Novant Health on Monday reported net income of $412.8 million in 2016, up nearly 60 percent from the year before. The health care system said the boost came from a combination of higher day-to-day operating income and $151 million in investment income.
Novant said it paid off $350 million in debt and handed out bonuses to all staff totaling $83 million during the year.
And it spent $725.5 million on "community benefit," which included $122 million in charity care for uninsured or low-income patients. That was down slightly from 2015.
The system says visits to physicians were up 6.8 percent from 2015 as more people go for checkups and preventive care. Hospital visits were unchanged from last year.
Operating revenues at the system were up 5 percent, to $4.34 billion. Expenses also rose 5 percent, to nearly $4.1 billion.
President and CEO Carl S. Armato said Novant continues to face a shortage of doctors and nurses, and took steps to improve working conditions. "In 2016, Novant Health invested heavily in our team members," he said in a press release. "In addition to paying every team member a bonus, we also expanded our unique wellness and resiliency program for physicians by offering it to our nurses as well."
Winston-Salem-based Novant operates hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia.
Novant spent $288 million on new facilities last year. It broke ground on a new medical center in Mint Hill, which is scheduled to open in 2018, and also is building a new orthopedic hospital in Charlotte.