Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., today gave investors their first peek at the company's financial results since it adopted a more conservative policy toward Medicare outlier payments: a loss for the three months ended Feb. 28 of $55 million, or 12 cents per share. That compares with profits of $280 million, or 56 cents per share, in the year-ago period, the third quarter of Tenet's fiscal 2002. Revenue climbed 5.8% to nearly $3.7 billion. Tenet said its Medicare outlier payments fell to $40 million for the quarter, compared with $191 million in the year-ago quarter. The new outlier policy was implemented Jan. 1, so only two of the three months were affected. Tenet said its results also suffered from dramatically higher malpractice costs -- $189 million versus $50 million in the previous third quarter -- and a noncash charge of $383 million to write down the value of 10 hospitals and four other properties. Some of the write-down was related to the outlier policy change, Tenet said. The company said it expects to take several more charges and will switch its fiscal year to the calendar year starting with the three months ended March 31. Tenet will report results for that period next month. For the nine months ended Feb. 28, Tenet earned $598 million, or $1.22 per share, on $11.2 billion in revenue. The company owns and operates 114 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Outlier payments sharply lower, Tenet reports loss
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