Net income for HCA Healthcare in Q4 hit $920 million, compared to $582 million in Q4 2015. Net income for the full year increased 35.7% from $2.13 billion in 2015 to $2.89 billion in 2016.
With fourth quarter same-facility admissions increasing 1.6% over the same period from the previous year, higher patient volume helped to boost financial performance.
- HCA is outperforming other for-profit health systems like Tenet Healthcare and Community Health Systems (CHS) in recent quarters, Reuters reported.
Investors tracking financial performance of large health systems are probably pleased with the results produced by HCA, which operates more than 250 hospitals across 20 U.S. states and the U.K.
While patient volume increased at HCA facilities, other large health systems are struggling in part due to decreases in patient volume. For instance, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) attributed operating losses to lower patient volume when it released an earnings report in November. CHS announced a 12.4% decrease in year-over-year decline in admissions when it released third-quarter results last year.
While health systems like CHI and CHS are working to get debt under control, HCA is planning on spending $2.9 billion in capital expenditures this year to improve capacity, according to the Nashville Business Journal. These plans are being made despite uncertainty surrounding the industry as lawmakers take steps toward health reform.
On the other hand, a lot of care is leaving the hospital, as lower-cost and easier-to-access sites like retail clinics, primary care office and urgent care centers are becoming more mainstream. It will be interesting to watch HCA's patient volume or partnership deals in the new year to see how they react to the changing market, increasingly driven with a patient-first mentality.