Tenet Healthcare Corp. reported $47 million in net income in the first quarter, reversing the $32 million net loss it saw during the same period last year.
Revenue at the Dallas-based chain also increased to $4.4 billion, a 12.8% increase over the prior-year period's $3.9 billion.
Patient volume continued to grow at Tenet's hospitals; on a same-hospital basis, admissions increased 4.9% year-over-year, or 5.9% when adjusted for outpatient activity. The chain saw a 7.1% increase in surgeries while emergency department visits were up 7.2%.
Healthcare reform boosted results. Across the country, the number of paying admissions increased 6.2%, according to a news release. And in its six states that expanded Medicaid eligibility, uninsured and charity admissions decreased a combined 49.8%, while Medicaid admissions increased 9.6%.
The number of patients with health plans purchased on an exchange also increased 17.6% on the inpatient side and 11.2% among outpatient visits compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.
Bad debt represented 7.6% of revenue in the first quarter compared with 8.8% in the prior-year period.
But healthcare reform wasn’t the only factor, and two-thirds of Tenet’s growth was actually organic, CEO Trevor Fetter said in an interview. One area of focus has been on expanding the services it offers in particular markets. For instance, in Florida, one of its fastest-growing regions, its hospitals have made capital investments and recruited physicians to build specialties such as orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery.
Those investments drove market share gain, Fetter said.
Conifer, the chain’s revenue-cycle management arm, continued its own strong run. The division posted a 20% increase in revenue in the first quarter, contributing $342 million. The growth came from new clients as well as incentive payments for meeting performance goals, Fetter said.
Tenet has been pursuing a strategy of becoming more outpatient-focused, and added 26 facilities over the past year to reach 215 outpatient centers in the first quarter. The chain last month said it would combine its ambulatory surgery and imaging assets in a joint venture with United Surgical Partners International and eventually assume full ownership of the business.
United Surgical Partners Monday reported $55.8 million in operating income for the first quarter, a 17% increase over the prior-year period's $47.6 million. Revenue increased to $158.1 million, a 9% improvement over $145.3 million in the first quarter of 2014.