- HCA had revenues of $10.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up from $10.3 billion a year earlier, according to preliminary results released Monday.
- Net income for the quarter totaled $659 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, down from $694 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016.
- Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization — a way of measuring profitability — is expected to be about $2 billion for the quarter. While nothing to sniff at, that’s 6% less than the profit margin Wall Street had predicted, Axios reports.
HCA blamed the lackluster results on “changes in payer mix and the loss of one day when compared to the first quarter of 2016.”
Same facility Medicare admissions accounted for 48.1% of all admissions during the quarter, up from 47% a year ago. Same facility managed care/health exchange admissions comprised 27.4% of admissions, versus 28.6% in the first quarter of 2016.
Meanwhile, same facility admissions for the 2017 first quarter grew 1.2% over a year ago, while same facility equivalent admissions climbed 1.6%. Same facility emergency room visits rose were up 1.1% from the previous year.
The financials preview caused hospital stocks to slide. HCA closed Monday down 2.4%. Tenet Healthcare fell 8%, while Community Health Systems dropped 5.8%.
Hospitals generally are seeing less utilization and lower reimbursement and a shift from inpatient care to lower-cost, easier-to-access outpatient sites like primary care clinics, urgent care centers and retail clinics. Health systems like CHS are working to control their debt, often by selling off facilities that are no longer profitable.
“Many hospitals are stuck with tons of inpatient real estate that is becoming less and less utilized and less profitable, Bill Bithoney, managing director of BDO and chief physician executive of its healthcare advisory practice, told Healthcare Dive in November. “Converting some of that into cash, monetizing that, and then buying or building places where patients are going to start to grow like ambulatory surgery centers and skilled nursing facilities is going to be quite salutary.”