HCA annual profit climbs to $3.8B

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HCA Healthcare, a 185-hospital system based in Nashville, Tenn., said its revenue and profit increased in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

The for-profit hospital operator posted revenue of $14.3 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, when revenue totaled $13.5 billion. 

HCA said same-hospital admissions declined 3.4 percent year over year. Same-facility emergency room visits were down 21 percent, while inpatient surgeries and outpatient surgeries each declined more than 5 percent. 

"Same facility revenue per equivalent admission increased 14.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, due to increases in acuity of patients treated and favorable payer mix in the current quarter," HCA said. 

After factoring in operating expenses and nonoperating items, the company ended the fourth quarter of last year with net income of $1.4 billion. That's up from net income of nearly $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier. 

Looking at full-year 2020 results, HCA reported net income of $3.8 billion on revenue of $51.5 billion. The company posted net income of $3.5 billion on revenue of $51.3 billion in 2019. 

"In the face of the highest surge yet of the COVID-19 pandemic, we finished the year with strong financial results in the fourth quarter. These results were driven, once again, by highly acute inpatient volumes coupled with solid cost management," HCA CEO Sam Hazen said in an earnings release. "We are incredibly proud of our colleagues and our accomplishments in 2020, which included returning over $6 billion of CARES Act funds to the federal government. Our performance this past year gives us confidence to believe that we will be able to navigate successfully through future challenges as well."

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