Kindred Healthcare, Louisville, Ky., reported a net loss of $13 million, or 76 cents per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with net income of $18 million, or 95 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company said earnings fell because of a Medicare reimbursement change that took effect Oct. 1, 2002, and because of higher professional liability costs. Both factors are expected to continue to depress operating income. Revenue rose 6% to $863 million. The Oct. 1 expiration of the Medicare skilled-nursing provision reduced operating income by approximately $15 million in the first quarter, Kindred said. Costs related to professional liability were $54 million, compared with $16 million in the 2002 first quarter. The company also said it has reached a definitive agreement to buy 15 nursing homes in Florida and one in Texas from its landlord, Ventas, for $64 million, including lease termination fees. Kindred currently leases the facilities from Ventas. After the sale closes in June, Kindred plans to sell the Florida homes as part of its exit from the state, where it says liability costs are too high. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Kindred reports loss amid higher liability costs
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