Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., said profits rose nearly 20% for the quarter ended Dec. 31 on 3.9% increases in adjusted admissions and net revenue per admission. HMA reported profits of $71.3 million, or 29 cents per share, for its fiscal 2004 first quarter, compared with profits of $59.7 million, or 24 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 24.1% to $756.5 million. HMA also pointed to its expense controls, namely limiting bad-debt expense to 7.7% of revenue -- expectations for several of its investor-owned counterparts are around 10% -- and keeping a lid on salary and benefits expense. HMA owns or operates 52 hospitals in 16 states. -- by Vince Galloro
HMA reports 20% climb in quarterly profits
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