Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., and LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., said they posted strong operating results on growing patient volume and reimbursement for the three months ended June 30, although LifePoint lost money in the quarter because of a $15.6 million charge to refinance debt. HMA, which operates 43 nonurban hospitals, said it earned $66.6 million, or 26 cents per share, for its third quarter, compared with $54.1 million, or 21 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew 25.2% to $592.5 million. For the nine months ended June 30, HMA earned $186.3 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with $143.1 million, or 56 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted admissions, which reflect outpatient and inpatient volume, and total surgeries grew 3.5% and 4.1%, respectively.
LifePoint, which operates 23 rural hospitals, said it lost $2.5 million, or 6 cents per share, in its second quarter, compared with a profit of $6.9 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company earned $13.1 million before the refinancing charge, compared with $8.5 million before a similar debt-retirement charge in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 17.3% to $177.9 million. LifePoint said it cut the interest rate on its debt to 4.5% from 10.75%, although the company sold $250 million in new notes to retire $120.5 million in notes issued last year. The company said it plans to use the extra money for acquisitions, physician recruitment and technology investments at its hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro