Universal Health Services reported a 26.2% increase in first-quarter net income, which the publicly traded system attributed to an improving economy, higher patient volume and more insurance coverage.
The King of Prussia, Pa.-based chain, which operates both acute-care and behavioral health hospitals, reported net income of $174.3 million on $2.2 billion in revenue for the first quarter, compared with net income of $138.1 million on $1.9 billion in revenue during the prior-year period.
In its acute-care division, UHS saw a 5.7% increase in same-hospital admissions, adjusted for outpatient activity, while net revenue per adjusted admission increased 6.1%. Its operating margin increased to 21.6% at its acute-care hospitals compared with 19.2% during the first quarter of 2014.
With its acute-care hospitals largely concentrated in California, Nevada and Texas, UHS felt the impact of treating more insured patients, both through Medicaid expansion and commercial plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges. The chain also saw an economic improvement in its markets.
Its charity care decreased to $287 million in the quarter, a 10.3% decrease over the prior-year period's $320 million. Its provision for doubtful accounts decreased about 32% year-over-year to $124 million from $182 million.
UHS' high-performing behavioral health division also continued its strong run. Same-facility adjusted admissions increased 6%, though net revenue per adjusted admission increased just 0.4%. The division's operating margin improved to 28.6% for the quarter, up from the year-ago period's 27.7%.