Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., said that profits for the first quarter were flat with the year-ago quarter, once one-time gains from both quarters are excluded. The company reported net income of $46 million, down sharply from $133.3 million in the first quarter of 2008. In the year-ago quarter, HMA received a pretax gain of $203.3 million on the sale of a 27% stake in seven hospitals in North and South Carolina to not-for-profit Novant Health, Winston-Salem, N.C.
On a same-facility basis, admissions declined 0.2% and adjusted admissions increased 0.1%, HMA said. Adjusting for leap day, which added a day to the first quarter of 2008, both volume figures would have increased by 1%.
Gary Newsome, HMAs president and CEO, said that the company continues to make progress on its three main initiatives: improving emergency department efficiency, boosting physician recruitment and expanding service lines. The company finished rolling out a new information technology system for its emergency departments by March 31, for example. HMA recruited 144 physicians in the quarter, for a net gain of 100 physicians after accounting for turnover. The company owns and operates 56 hospitals.