Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, said accounting charges related to some poor-performing hospitals led to a bigger loss in the fourth quarter of 2006 compared with the year-ago quarter. Those charges and its $900 million settlement of a wide-ranging federal investigation last year also led to a larger loss for 2006 compared with 2005. Tenet owns or operates 63 hospitals, including six held for sale.
Tenet reported a loss of $386 million for the quarter, a 35% increase on the loss of $286 million in 2005s fourth quarter. Revenue increased 2.6%, to $2.18 billion. Comparing the quarters on a same-facility basis, admissions decreased by 0.9% and equivalent admissions increased by 0.1%, the best volume performance that Tenet has reported since the first quarter of 2004, executives said during a conference call.
For 2006, Tenet said it lost $803 million, up 10.9% from a loss of $724 million in 2005. Revenue was up 1%, to $8.7 billion. Comparing the years on a same-facility basis, admissions decreased by 2.5% and equivalent admissions decreased by 1.7%.
Stephen Newman, who became Tenets chief operating officer on Jan. 1, said that patient volume was weakest in Florida and Texas. The company has received some additional volume from a group of 4,900 physicians who have been visited by hospital-based teams that try to market Tenets hospitals to physicians, Newman said. That increase is offset by the remaining 5,500 physicians who continue to divert admissions to competing hospitals, he said. -- by Vince Galloro