Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, said it will spend up to $370 million over the next three to four years on expansion projects at six undisclosed hospitals in San Antonio and Phoenix. The projects will expand clinical capacity and fulfill capital commitments Vanguard made in acquiring the hospitals, the privately held company said. Vanguard also announced that profits more than doubled for its fiscal 2004 third quarter, ended March 31. Vanguard earned $13.8 million, compared with $6.6 million for the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 14.7% to $461.7 million. Vanguard, like many investor-owned chains, reported a rise in bad-debt expense as a percentage of net patient revenue -- to 7.6% from 6.9% in the year-ago quarter. But the company was able to reduce other expenses relative to revenue, especially for salaries and benefits and supplies. For the nine months ended March 31, Vanguard earned $28 million, compared with $10.6 million in the year-ago period. Revenue was up 40% to $1.31 billion, largely because of Vanguard's January 2003 acquisition of five-hospital Baptist Health System, San Antonio. Vanguard owns or operates 16 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Vanguard plans for hospital upgrades, as pledged
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