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Hospital chains' earnings outpace other healthcare providers



If earnings previews from rivals Tenet Healthcare Corp. and Health Management Associates are any guide, financial results from the large Nashville area-based hospital chains in coming weeks should be in line with Wall Street analysts' average forecasts. At many chains, efforts to deliver cheaper and more efficient care helped to offset pressures from a sluggish economy and fewer patients coming through their doors. But going into 2011, headwinds such as those related to reimbursement and regulation still pose a challenge for hospitals and other healthcare providers. The specific effects would vary by sector, with hospitals continuing to face concerns about cuts by states to Medicaid budgets, although admissions of patients should improve slightly.


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