How CHS, Tenet, HCA and UHS fared in Q1

Community Health Systems, HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare and Universal Health Services all released first-quarter results in the past several days, and there were some common themes in the for-profit systems' numbers.

  • Franklin, Tenn.-based CHS reported a net loss of $20 million on revenue of $3.1 billion compared with net income of $30 million in the same period in 2022 on revenue of $3.1 billion.
  • Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA reported net income of $1.36 billion on $15.6 billion of revenue in the first quarter. That compares with net income of $1.27 billion in the same period last year and $2.1 billion in the final quarter of 2022.
  • Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare reported $143 million in net income for the first quarter of 2023 on revenue of $5 billion. That figure compared with net income of $139 million on $4.7 billion of revenue in the same period last year. 
  • King of Prussia, Pa.-based UHS reported net income of $163.1 million in the first quarter of 2023 on revenue of $3.5 billion versus $153.9 million in the same period in 2022. Operating income for the 27-hospital system totaled $278.7 million for the period compared with $232.9 million in 2022.

Contract labor remains an issue for all four systems, both in all of 2022 and continuing into 2023 even as the general situation improves.

While HCA Healthcare said contract labor numbers were down 21 percent year over year, Tenet Healthcare said it reduced such labor as a percentage of all salaries, wages and benefit expenses to 6 percent in the first quarter compared with 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022/

"The workforce is starting to stabilize," said Tenet Healthcare CEO Saum Sutaria, MD,. "We are reducing reliance on contract labor."

Expenses continued to be a drag at UHS, totaling $3.2 billion in the first quarter, 4.2 percent higher than the same period in 2022. Of that, salary, wage and benefits expenses were up 3.6 percent on the corresponding period, totaling $1.75 billion, lower proportionally than in recent months. Continued reliance on contract labor to address staff shortages is likely to have "an unfavorable material impact on our results of operations for the foreseeable future," UHS said.

CHS saw its overall expenses up 4 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2022.

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