Ardent Health Services, Nashville, said its loss on continuing operations widened to $3 million in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a $486,000 loss in the year-ago quarter. Ardent's laboratory and pharmacy business in its Albuquerque market lagged compared with the first quarter, and the company lost $1.6 million on its Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital near Philadelphia, said R. Dirk Allison, chief financial officer. Ardent acquired Brooke Glen last year and had to make improvements while applying for Medicare provider status, which was granted in May, Allison said. A $2 million after-tax gain on the sale of a behavioral-health hospital in Indiana, however, kept Ardent's bottom-line loss substantially the same for both quarters -- $964,000 on revenue of $357.2 million compared with a loss of $760,000 on revenue of $317.9 million in the 2003 quarter. For the six months, Ardent earned $5.2 million on $723.7 million in revenue, up from profits of $1.9 million on $628.8 million in revenue in the first half of 2003.
Ardent said admissions rose at both its acute-care and behavioral health hospitals. At the seven acute-care hospitals Ardent operated in all periods, adjusted admissions grew 8% for the quarter and 8.4% for the first six months of 2004, compared with admissions in the 2003 periods. At the 19 behavioral health hospitals Ardent operated in all periods, adjusted admissions were up 8.8% for the quarter and 10.1% for the six-month period. The company has 20 behavioral health hospitals in all. Ardent also announced that its majority investor, private equity firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, and other equity holders purchased nearly 13 million added shares in the company for $58.3 million to complete their initial investment agreement with Ardent. -- by Vince Galloro