A little more than five weeks after reporting some disappointing second-quarter results, HCA yesterday afternoon hosted a conference call further explaining some of those results.
In the call, HCA executives chiefly outlined their outlook, saying the company expects to see a noticeable downturn in heart surgeries at its various facilities around the country. Leading to this downturn, the company says, is increased oversight from the federal government concerning the treatment of cardiac patients. Specifically, the company has said that there as been an increasing trend toward the medical management of cardiac cases leading to a decrease in such surgeries, as well as a Department of Justice investigation into the treatment of such patients.
Ameliorating the circumstances surrounding the drop in cardiac patients, the company reiterated that it has seen increases during July and August in overall revenue growth. On this front, the company said that it also still expects to see EBITDA of 3 to 5 percent for the full year.
Shares of competitor Tenet Healthcare took a beating yesterday on the heels of unfavorable reports of Medicare and Medicaid mixes among its various patients.
As has been the case for some time now, the future of hospital operator reimbursement looks slightly shaky in the face of looming health care reform. Just how the reimbursement picture will look in five years remains to be seen, which has some investors on edge. For now, publicly traded hospital stock are stuck having to ride the more-extreme-than-normal ups and downs of investor sentiment.
A full replay of the conference call can be found here.
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