Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., reported higher profits and patient volume, but also significantly higher uncompensated-care costs for the third quarter.
HMA reports increase in profits, patient volume
HMA said it earned $25.5 million for the quarter, compared with $10.8 million in net income in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 5.8%, to $1.12 billion. Comparing the third quarter with 2008's third quarter, hospitals in continuing operations posted increases of 5.4% in admissions, 7% in adjusted admissions and 12.9% in emergency department visits. Surgeries declined 0.2%. The continuing operations group excludes two hospitals whose operations are now 99% owned by Novant Health, Winston-Salem, N.C.; HMA and Novant restructured a seven-hospital joint venture as of Oct. 1.
The total of bad debt, charity and indigent-care write-offs and discounts to uninsured patients was $337.5 million for the third quarter, compared with $290.9 million in the year-ago quarter. As a percentage of the total of net revenue, charity write-offs and uninsured discounts, these costs were 25.7% in the quarter, up from 23.6% in the year-ago quarter. Uninsured admissions increased to 7.7% of the total from 7% in the year-ago quarter. Bob Farnham, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said uninsured admissions have been stable for the four months through September, giving him hope that the trend is leveling out.
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