- HCA Healthcare reported a 9.6% year-over-year revenue increase to $12.52 billion for the first quarter of 2019 — handily beating Wall Street expectations. Net income for the quarter totaled $1.04 billion, compared to $1.14 billion in the year prior, according to financial results released Tuesday morning.
- Same-facility admissions for the Nashville-based hospital operator were up 0.9%. Outpatient surgery volume was up 1.3% while inpatient surgery cases were down 0.3%. Same-facility ER visits decreased 2.3%. Outpatient revenues as a percentage of patient revenues were at 37.8% for the first quarter of 2019, up slightly from 37.2% the year prior.
- HCA CEO Sam Hazen told investors the company's first quarter was driven by commercial volume growth and acquisitions. Revenues were cushioned by a settlement with Aetna over out-of-network ER bills in a case brought by HCA-owned Florida hospitals in 2015, and an arbitrator awarded the hospital operator $150 million at the end of last year.
HCA has notably bucked the industry's admissions trend. While hospital volume growth has been lethargic for peers in recent years, HCA continues to deliver admissions gains. Analysts told Healthcare Dive the feat can be attributed to a strong presence in lucrative markets such as Dallas, Houston and Nashville.
HCA upped its full-year guidance to $51.5 billion from the $50.5 billion guidance issued in the fourth quarter of 2018.
"The first quarter continues the positive momentum we have seen over the past six quarters," Hazen said.
The chain is coming off its $1.5 billion purchase of Mission Health, marking a move into North Carolina. The deal, completed in February, brought the company's hospital count to 185. CFO Bill Rutherford said HCA officials are pleased with how the integration is going and Mission's "performance is on plan at this point."
Hazen told investors the company has about $4.3 billion in capital spending in the pipeline expected to come online in the next few years — adding additional inpatient and outpatient capacity.
Shareholders agreed last week to get rid of the chain's super-majority voting requirement, as company leaders had requested. That reduces the requirement for changing bylaws to approval from a majority of shareholders instead of 75%.
The company has beaten consensus EPS estimates four times in the past four quarters, according to Zacks. Over the past two years, HCA has beaten EPS estimates 63% of the time and revenue estimates 75% of the time.