HCA expects further improvement on contract labor as overall Q2 expenses rise

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, which reported a 7.6 percent increase in expenses in its second quarter, saw its contract labor numbers down 20 percent in the period and expects a further decline for the rest of 2023.

"We are pleased with our labor environment and that portends good things going through the balance of the year," CFO Bill Rutherford said on an earnings webcast.

Contract labor as a percentage of salaries, wages and benefits totaled 6.8 percent in the second quarter, Rutherford said. Salaries and benefits were up 7.1 percent over the same period in 2022 to total $7.3 billion.

Professional fees had also weighed on HCA in the second quarter, Mr. Rutherford said.

"We have seen a little pressure on professional fees, but we don't expect that in the second half of the year," he said.

HCA also raised both its net income and revenue guidance for 2023.

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