HCA, Nashville, said its same-facility admissions grew only 0.6% and outpatient surgeries declined 3.6%, respectively, for the second quarter compared with the year-ago period. It's the second straight quarter the company has reported soft volume figures. HCA also said it will increase its bad debt allowance by $106 million because many of the factors that held down volume, particularly for outpatient services, also boosted bad debt. Those factors include economic weakness, higher unemployment in several markets and increased copayments and deductibles. Volume also was affected by the nonrenewal of the company's managed-care contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee. -- by Vince Galloro
Soft volume leads HCA to raise bad debt allowance
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