(Adds earnings details, background)
May 5 Hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp
posted a first-quarter loss on Monday, hurt by cuts in
payments from the federal Medicare program for the elderly, but
confirmed its full-year profit outlook as it admitted more
patients to its facilities.
Patient admissions strengthened, particularly in states that
expanded their Medicaid programs for the poor under President
Barack Obama's healthcare reform, Tenet said.
Admissions grew by 17 percent in four states where Tenet
operates that expanded Medicaid, while uninsured and charity
admissions declined 33 percent.
Hospitals in general have admitted fewer patients in recent
years as people who lost jobs and health insurance or faced
higher out-of-pocket medical expenses stopped going to the
Hospitals are expected to benefit from the extension of
insurance coverage to more Americans under the Affordable Care
Act, even as the government looks to curb Medicare and Medicaid
Dallas-based Tenet said its total adjusted admissions, which
include both inpatient and outpatient figures, at its facilities
rose 0.3 percent in the first quarter.
Tenet said patients who obtained their insurance through
exchanges created as part of the new law rose during the first
quarter and into April.
Tenet, the third-largest U.S. for-profit hospital chain,
reported a net loss of $32 million, or 33 cents a share,
compared with a net loss of $88 million, or 85 cents a share, a
Tenet recorded a loss from continuing operations, excluding
costs for restructuring, acquisition, litigation and debt
retirement, of $12 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with
income of $34 million, or 33 cents a share, in the same period a
On that basis, analysts had expected a loss of 14 cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization, and excluding special items, increased 41 percent
to $387 million from a year ago.
Bad debt expense increased by 5.8 percent to $380 million in
the first quarter, compared with a year ago.
Tenet confirmed its forecast for 2014 earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, excluding one-time
items, in a range of $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion.
Tenet shares closed down 5 cents at $45.36 Monday on the New
York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio
and Andre Grenon)