Healthcare Business News

HealthSouth expects robust results, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: August 2, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

HealthSouth Corp., a publicly traded operator of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, raised its financial projections for 2014 after announcing strong results in the first half of the year.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based chain reported a 45.3% drop in net income in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2013. However, last year's results included a one-time federal income tax benefit stemming from a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service. Excluding the settlement, HealthSouth's operating performance improved year over year as revenue grew faster than expenses.

HealthSouth also booked a $27.2 million income gain when it acquired an additional 30% stake in Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital from its joint venture partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. The deal, which increased HealthSouth's ownership stake in the Worcester, Mass.-based facility to 80%, closed in June.

Same-hospital discharges in the second quarter increased 1.4% year over year. However, new hospitals in HealthSouth's portfolio, including Fairlawn, helped boost total discharges 3%. Revenue per discharge increased 4.9%.

In total, HealthSouth reported $97.9 million of net income on $595.1 million of net revenue in the second quarter of 2014 compared with $179 million in income on $557.5 million in revenue in the prior-year period.

HealthSouth also said it is now expecting $570 million to $580 million in full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, instead of its previous forecast of $555 million to $565 million.—Beth Kutscher

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher

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U.S. appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law

Mississippi’s governor and attorney general will have to decide whether to challenge a federal appeals court ruling that is keeping the state’s only abortion clinic in business.

A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 last Tuesday to block a 2012 Mississippi law that requires abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

When Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law, he said he hoped it would end abortion in the state. In defending the law, state attorneys said women with unwanted pregnancies could always travel to other states. But the appellate judges ruled that every state must guarantee constitutional rights, including abortion.

“This measure is designed to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this potentially dangerous procedure, and physicians who provide abortions should be held to the same standards as physicians who perform other outpatient procedures,” Bryant said.

Ten states have adopted similar laws, forcing a growing number of clinics to close. The ruling from the conservative 5th Circuit was narrowly crafted to address the situation in Mississippi, but it could have implications for other states with similar laws and dwindling access to abortion, such as Wisconsin and Alabama. —Associated Press

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