MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., said lower volumes at two of its 10 heart hospitals and an increase in cardiac defibrillator utilization contributed to reduced earnings for its second quarter ended March 31. Meanwhile, surgical facility operator United Surgical Partners, Dallas, said profits grew 51% and revenue 36% in its first quarter ended March 31 as the company expanded in the U.S. and abroad. MedCath earned $588,000, or 3 cents per share, compared with $14 million, or 77 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew 2.6% to $135.2 million. An unexpected change in payer mix and reduced reimbursement at one hospital also contributed to the lower earnings, company President and CEO David Crane said. MedCath has three new hospitals in development, and company officials said expenses related to development and hospital start-ups will continue to affect earnings this year.
United Surgical said net income rose to $7.1 million, or 26 cents per share, in its first quarter, up from $4.7 million or 19 cents per share in the year-ago period. Revenue was $102.1 million. The company completed its second 50-50 joint venture agreement -- this one for surgical facilities in Phoenix -- with Catholic Healthcare West. United Surgical has ownership interests in or operates 66 surgical facilities in the U.S., Spain and the United Kingdom. Of these, 26 domestic facilities are jointly owned with 12 not-for-profit healthcare systems. -- by Julie Piotrowski