HCA, the Nashville-based operator of 190 hospitals and 82 ambulatory surgery centers, today announced third-quarter net earnings of $306 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, on $5.5 billion in revenues.
Admissions were up 3.9% on the quarter, due largely to expansion (the chain has added six hospitals and four ASCs since the same period last year), but same-facility admissions increased 0.2% as well. Same-facility revenue increased 6.9%, according to the company.
HCA provided 10.3% of consolidated revenues for doubtful accounts, up from 8.3% in the third quarter of 2002, due to the growth of the uninsured population, increasing numbers of self-pay accounts and a deterioration in amounts collectable from those accounts.
Revenues for the nine months ending Sept. 30 were $16.2 billion, up from $14.7 billion in 2002. Net income through three quarters in 2003 was $1.015 billion, or $1.98 per diluted share, compared with $935 million or $1.78 per diluted share for the same period in 2002.
During the period, the company also paid the federal government $641 million in a civil settlement stemming from U.S. Department of Justice investigations of eight whistleblower lawsuits. The suits alleged fraud in preparation and submission of Medicare cost reports, payment of kickbacks to obtain referrals of patients and overcharges for management of wound care facilities.
HCA admitted no wrong doing in reaching the settlements.
The latest payment brought to $1.7 billion the amount HCA has paid or agreed to pay the government in civil fines and criminal penalties in recent years.