Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., said profits were up nearly 18% for the three months ended June 30, but actual profit margin slipped as bad-debt, labor and supply expenses all increased as a percentage of revenue. The nonurban hospital chain said it earned $89.3 million, or 36 cents per share, in its third quarter, for a 10.9% profit margin. That compared with earnings of $75.9 million, or 30 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter, for an 11.7% margin. Revenue rose more than 25% to $817.3 million. For the nine months ended June 30, HMA also saw a nearly 18% increase in profits -- to $251.1 million, or $1.02 per share, from $213.6 million, or 85 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Its profit margin shrank to 10.4% from 11.2%. Revenue was up more than 26% to $2.4 billion. Same-hospital surgeries declined 1.7% and 0.9% in the three-month and nine-month periods, compared with the year-ago periods, but adjusted admissions were up 2.6% and 3.5% for the three-month and nine-month periods. HMA owns or operates 52 hospitals in 16 states. -- by Vince Galloro
At HMA, rising expenses reduce profit margin
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