HCA Holdings on Thursday said same-facility admissions at its hospitals rose 3.2 percent during the first quarter, which is almost a percentage point better than its numbers late last year.
The admissions jump early this year — same-store numbers were up 2.5 percent in Q4 — helped power revenues past $8.3 billion for the quarter, compared to $7.4 billion a year ago. The nation's biggest for-profit hospital operator also said it will book a one-time gain of 22 cents per share — about $170 million in so-called adjusted EBITDA — in the first quarter thanks to the resolution of two Medicare-related issues. In all, adjusted EBITDA is expected to come in between $1.795 billion and $1.845 billion versus $1.59 billion a year ago.
The combined news had investors pushing up shares of HCA and other hospital operators in Thursday trading. Heading into the last half hour of trading, HCA (Ticker: HCA) was up almost 4 percent to $27.74 while local peer Community Health Systems (Ticker: CYH) was almost 5 percent higher. Fellow Nashville-area chains LifePoint Hospitals (Ticker: LPNT) and Vanguard Health Systems (Ticker: VHS) were booking smaller gains on the day.
The largest of the two stems from the settlement of a long-running lawsuit filed against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by hospital chains over the agency's handling of a rule requiring it to balance wage payments to rural and urban hospitals. The settlement, which was signed last week, calls for Medicare to pay HCA $271 million by the end of June. The second adjustment, which relates to disproportionate share payments, will cost HCA about $83 million in Medicare revenues. Check out the details here.
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- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
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- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS