NEW HAVEN — An unexpected rise in revenue from the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) may help ease Yale University’s budget crunch.
For the 2014 fiscal year, the School of Medicine eliminated its $12 million projected deficit and finished the 12-month period with a $42 million surplus. According to YSM Dean Robert Alpern, the surplus is due largely to the rise in YSM clinical revenues, in addition to Yale-New Haven Hospital support, malpractice credit and other royalties. The positive results are a primary reason the university may see a balanced budget in 2014 compared to the $39.2 million deficit in fiscal 2013.
University Provost Benjamin Polak told the Yale Daily News that under Alpern’s leadership, YSM has continued to expand the school’s total revenue — nearly $1.4 billion — by expanding its number of practicing clinicians.
Alpern said the School of Medicine is unlike the rest of the university inasmuch as its revenue flows from entirely different sources than other schools. Tuition is only about one percent of revenue, the endowment is approximately eight to ten percent, and the vast majority of revenue therefore comes from two main sources: grants and contracts, or medical services.
The medical school’s revenue is calculated separately from Yale-New Haven Hospital. However, YNHH provides financial support to many med school departments and co-invests in recruiting new faculty or launching new programs to provide destination medical care.
“Because there are so many uncertainties, it’s very hard for us to predict the revenue and predict the expenses, which is why we sometimes close the year with a different revenue than we expected,” Alpern said. “It’s good that this time it’s positive.”
Of the medical school’s budget, according to the YDN, medical services had been budgeted to bring in $635,465,000. In reality, those services — which include more than 1,000 practicing physicians as part of Yale Medical Group — brought in nearly $30 million more at $664,981,000, which shattered the actual revenue of $580,053,000 brought in during fiscal 2013.