Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., said volume growth, especially in outpatient settings, enabled the company to overcome higher uncompensated-care costs in the fourth quarter.
Volume growth buoys HMA's fourth quarter
HMA reported net income of $34.1 million for the quarter, nearly five times its 2008 fourth-quarter profits of $7 million. Revenue increased 10% to $1.2 billion. On a same-hospital basis comparing the quarters, admissions increased 1.5%, adjusted admissions increased 3.9%, and emergency room visits increased 6.4%.
While the total cost of uncompensated-care was higher than in the year-ago quarter, it was significantly lower than in the third quarter. That performance and other signs, such as a rebound in “snowbirds” who spend the winter in its Florida markets, lead HMA to believe that the economy is improving, said Gary Newsome, president and CEO.
For 2009, HMA reported net income of $138.2 million, a 17.8% decrease from 2008, but that year included a pretax gain of $169.6 million on the sale of assets. Revenue increased 5.9% to $4.62 billion. The company also revealed that it paid $138 million in cash in its previously announced acquisition of 295-bed Sparks Regional Medical Center, Fort Smith, Ark. HMA also said it completed physician syndications at 16 of its 55 hospitals.
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