Triad Hospitals said its inpatient admissions and outpatient visits, excluding surgeries, declined in the first quarter, mirroring the weak volume announced yesterday by HCA. Triad Chairman and CEO James Shelton said the company is seeing some effects of healthcare cost-shifting from employers to employees. In a struggling economy with concerns about job security, Shelton said, consumers who must pay all or a greater share of their healthcare costs are going to put off nonurgent procedures. The mild flu season also played a role in the weaker volume, Shelton said. Unlike Nashville-based HCA, Triad said its surgery volumes were strong -- with inpatient procedures up 8.7% and outpatient procedures up 2.5%. Plano, Texas-based Triad reported a 17% increase in profits to $47.3 million, or 63 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared with $40.4 million, or 55 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 10.9% to $954.5 million. Triad owns or operates 48 hospitals and 14 ambulatory surgery centers. -- by Vince Galloro
Triad, like HCA, reports weaker volume in quarter
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