Surgical Care Affiliates recorded a profit of $32 million in 2014. Its positive results mirror those seen among other ambulatory surgery center companies as the sector had a highly profitable year.
Deerfield, Ill.-based SCA said Tuesday its $32 million net gain last year came on $864.7 million in revenue. That compared with a $51.3 million loss on $785.7 million in 2013.
SCA owns or operates 190 ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals, most as joint ventures with physicians and health systems.
While the 3.7% profit margin is modest overall, SCA's operating margin, which captures the profit earned from day-to-day operations, was much higher. SCA's operating profit in 2014 rose more than 26% to $200.9 million, producing a 23.2% operating margin.
SCA was not the only surgery center chain that recorded positive operating income figures in 2014. Amsurg Corp., which encompasses 246 surgery centers, saw a 24.3% operating margin. United Surgical Partners International, which controls 219 facilities, posted a 42.1% operating margin.
Private and government payers reimburse ambulatory surgery centers less than hospitals are reimbursed. But most surgery centers cater to a more affluent patient base with employer-sponsored insurance.
Roughly 62% of SCA's revenue last year came from commercial payers. Private insurers accounted for about three-quarters of revenue for Amsurg and United Surgical Partners International.
Medicaid represented 3% of SCA's revenue and about 2% for Amsurg and United Surgical Partners International.
Surgery centers also focus on lucrative, elective procedures. Joint replacements and other orthopedic surgeries accounted for 37% of SCA's cases in 2014. Amsurg relies heavily on colonoscopies and other endoscopy procedures, which produced 51% of its revenue last year.
As noted last week, SCA Chief Financial Officer Pete Clemens will retire from the company sometime late this year. Clemens, who will turn 50 this month, has been at SCA for more than three years. He was part of the management team that took SCA public in late 2013. SCA has hired an executive search firm to find his replacement.
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