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HCA Posts Strong, Tenet 'Solid' 3Q Earnings

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 6, 2013

Its ability to improve inpatient admissions has helped for-profit Hospital Corporation of America post healthy earnings. Tenet, despite an 8.4% increase in net operating revenues, experienced a "volume decline on the inpatient side and flat-ish volume for outpatient," says one analyst.

For-profit hospital giant Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) continues to post strong earnings even as the industry contends with the complex, myriad, and expensive mandates around healthcare reform, lower inpatient admissions, and reduced Medicare reimbursements.

For the third quarter of 2013, the Nashville-based company reported:

  • Total revenues of $8.4 billion, an increase of 4.9% over the third quarter of 2012;
  • Same facility equivalent admissions increased 1.1%
  • Same facility admissions increased 0.7%,
  • Same facility revenue per equivalent admission increased 3.4%;
  • Cash flows from operations increased $245 million, up $900 million from $655 million

Not surprisingly, HCA Chairman/CEO Richard M. Bracken said in prepared remarks that he was "pleased with the results of the third quarter." He credited the company's "many clinical and operating initiatives continue to position our facilities to effectively compete in this changing healthcare environment."

HCA reported that revenue per equivalent admission increased 3.9% in the third quarter of 2013—a 3.4% increase on a same hospital basis, reflecting increasing acuity and changes in payer mix. Same facility inpatient surgeries increased 2.9% while same facility outpatient surgeries increased 0.4% compared to 3Q 2012.

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