HCA, Nashville, said it will distribute $1.75 billion to its investors next month using its existing credit facilities and cash on hand. Iasis Healthcare and Vanguard Health Systems announced similar distributions earlier this month (Print subscription required.).
HCA announces distribution of $1.75 billion
While HCA has driven a key debt-to-earnings ratio—long-term debt to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization—down from 6.4 on Dec. 31, 2006, to an estimated 4.7 as of Dec. 31, 2009, the distribution is expected to boost the ratio to 5, the company said.
HCA also said that fourth-quarter operating profits were up 8.6% compared with the year-ago quarter, although its net income will be down largely because it paid more taxes in the 2009's final quarter. While bad-debt expense declined, the overall costs of uncompensated care (comprising bad debt, charity care and discounts to uninsured patients) are expected to rise. As a percentage of the sum of net revenue, charity care and uninsured discounts, uncompensated care is expected to be 24.1% in 2009's fourth quarter, versus 23% a year ago.
HCA said it expects to report revenue of $7.61 billion for the fourth quarter and $30.05 billion for the fiscal year, up 4.7% for the quarter and 5.9% for the full year. HCA will report its full results on Feb. 18.
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.