Tenet Healthcare Corp.
posted another net loss to start the year as the company faced declines in state and federal reimbursement, weaker patient volume and the loss of a health plan contract in Arizona.
The results included Tenet's acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems
, which closed in October.
The earnings hit
came despite a number of positive signs, such as an increase in patients with commercial insurance and what the Dallas-based chain described as the best quarterly same-hospital performance in more than six years.
Same-hospital outpatient visits increased 2.5% even as inpatient visits declined 1.2%. Same-hospital surgeries increased 13.1% and emergency department visits grew 2.7%.
In addition, the chain saw a 17% increase in Medicaid admissions in its four states that expanded Medicaid eligibility for low-income adults. As a result, Tenet's uninsured and charity-care admissions
declined by a third in those states.
The company also said the number of patients with insurance purchased from an exchange is growing month over month, a trend that continued into the second quarter.
In total, revenue increased 1% to $3.9 billion, with most of the growth coming from better terms on its commercial managed-care contracts, more outpatient visits and more business for Conifer Health Solutions, its revenue-cycle management arm.
However, Medicare sequestration took out about $25 million from its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the company said. Revenue also declined $75 million in Arizona after the state significantly downsized its Medicaid managed-care contract
with the company.
Tenet also attributed weaker patient volume to the controversial two-midnight rule
, which depressed Medicare and Medicaid one-day stays, and to severe winter weather.
The company also said it incurred an additional interest expense related to financing the $4.6 billion Vanguard acquisition
and $400 million in share repurchases last year.
The $32 million net loss for the quarter compares with a net loss of $88 million during the first quarter of 2013.Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher