In a statement, Tenet President and CEO Trevor Fetter said (PDF) reimbursement settlements remain “likely” and the company is raising its outlook for 2012 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). Its new EBITDA forecast for the year is in the range of $1.225 billion to $1.350 billion.
Tenet reported that it took a $117 million pre-tax loss from early debt retirement as part of a move to reduce its interest expense and extend its debt maturities.
“Tenet is always a complicated story,” said Jason Gurda, an analyst at Leerink Swann. “They have more than their fair share of company-specific challenges.”
Yet adjusted admissions for the Dallas-based health system grew 1.3% compared to the same period in 2010 and represented its fifth consecutive quarter of growth. Visits to the emergency department also grew 3.1% over fourth quarter 2010, and admissions through the emergency department saw a bump of 3.3%.
Gurda noted that Tenet has the opportunity to gain back lost market share. “Overall, volumes seem to be better than most,” he said, but he added that volumes have decelerated since the third quarter.
Net revenue per adjusted admission grew 2.3% in the quarter to $11,633, which the company attributed to improved terms with commercial managed-care payers, partially offset by a more adverse payer mix.