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Messiah Lifeways and Controlled Entities reported an operating loss for the last fiscal year of $4.2 million, which was an expected loss reflective of the fill-up period for the Project Envision new units. While operating revenues increased $3.9 million or 9.6% from the prior year related to the conversion to a new outsourced therapy provider, new Project Envision units being brought online during the year, and the annual increase in rates, operating expenses also increased $7.7 million or 18.5%. The latter was attributable directly to Project Envision, as the programs and buildings associated with the project were brought online. The increase in interest expense was impacted by the debt incurred to fund the project, and this was the first year that the buildings and equipment were depreciated, driving an increase in that expense line. In these upcoming years of fill up, we expect to stabilize operations and reverse the trend of operating losses related to project years.
As part of our mission, we continue to provide benevolent care, or care at an amount less than established rates, to those that have outlived their financial resources while being faithful stewards of their funds. For the past four years, the amount of uncompensated care has risen by approximately $500,000 each year. While we have established an endowment fund to help mitigate the costs of delivering benevolent care to our residents, the amount of transfer is limited to state law and board designation to ensure the corpus of the principal remains intact for future generations of residents. Thus, as demonstrated in the corresponding graph, the gap in uncompensated benevolent care continues to rise. We are thankful for our generous donors who continue to contribute to the endowment fund to support this very important part of our mission.
Tracy Biesecker, CFO