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Mass General Brigham reports profitable year, despite COVID challenges

Mass General Brigham offices in Somerville.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Mass General Brigham, the state’s biggest health care provider, said Friday that it earned $442 million on operations in the 2021 fiscal year, even as it continues to weather the challenges of the COVID pandemic.

That income came from business at its powerful hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s, and from a hefty chunk of federal aid.

MGB received $232 million from the CARES Act this year, on top of $546 million received last year, meant to help stabilize hospitals after the difficult early days of the pandemic.

The nonprofit health system, which includes a network of hospitals, an insurance company, and more than 80,000 employees, reported $15.7 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.


“We were pleased with the overall financial results,” said chief financial officer Niyum Gandhi. “It’s about what we were planning for the year.”

Revenue grew from about $14 billion last year as more and sicker patients sought care at MGB hospitals. The system lost $351 million on operations in 2020, a year defined by COVID.

Gandhi said MGB executives have learned to respond quickly to the unpredictable course of the pandemic, including by closely tracking and planning for global shortages of medical supplies, and by redeploying workers when needed, such as to administer COVID vaccines.

Hospitals at MGB and across the state are now facing unprecedented demand from sick patients, including those who deferred medical care earlier in the pandemic. And they’re treating growing numbers of patients infected with COVID again. MGB hospitals were treating more than 200 COVID patients Friday.

To cope with that demand, the Baker administration has ordered hospitals to postpone certain non-essential surgeries, including scheduled operations such as joint replacements.

Gandhi said the unusually high demand for hospital care adds to MGB’s costs, including the cost of recruiting and hiring workers amid ongoing staffing shortages.


“We don’t have enough capacity in the system to take care of the waves of COVID, plus all of the deferred care and all the regular care that patients need,” he said. “That will continue to be a challenge for the rest of this year and perhaps beyond.”

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.