Heart hospital operator MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., blamed bad debt, high supply costs and the opening of new facilities for a net loss of $933,000, or 5 cents per share, in its fiscal 2004 first quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2003.
In the year-ago period, the company earned $390,000, or 2 cents per share. The first-quarter loss came despite a 29.3% increase in net revenue to $156.6 million.
Costs for projects in development reached $3.4 million, compared with $2.4 million in the year-ago period, MedCath said. Medical supply costs, meanwhile, rose to 27.2% of net revenue from 23.1% in the year-ago period, primarily because of increased utilization of cardiac defibrillators and the use of drug-eluting stents, the company said.
Bad debt equaled 8.8% of net revenue in the quarter, up from 4.3% in the year-ago period. MedCath, which works with physician partners, is nearing completion on its 13th heart hospital, this one in Lafayette, La.
The company said it is continuing a strategic review of each of its hospitals and "may elect to divest hospitals that do not meet the company's overall growth or financial return objectives."