How HCA, Tenet, CHS and UHS performed in Q1

Four of the largest for-profit hospital operators reported mixed financial results in the first quarter of 2024; three systems reported increases in first-quarter net income while one system posted a net loss for the third consecutive first quarter: 

1. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare reported $1.8 billion in net income in the first quarter of 2024, up from $1.5 billion during the same time period in 2023. Revenue increased 11.2% year over year to $17.3 billion while expenses were up 10.4% to $15.1 billion. HCA's first-quarter operating income was $2.5 billion, up from $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2023. CEO Sam Hazen said the "strong fundamentals" HCA saw in its business over the past year continued in the first quarter and "generated strong financial results that were driven primarily by broad-based volume growth."

2. Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare posted a net income of $2.2 billion in the first quarter, up from $143 million in the same period last year. Revenue increased by $400 million year over year to $5.4 billion in the first quarter 2024. Tenet's hospital segment, which now includes its Conifer arm, saw revenues increase by 6.2% year over year, while revenue for its ambulatory segment grew by 9.9%. CEO Saum Sutaria, MD, said Tenet has had an "outstanding start to the year highlighted by strong growth in revenues, admissions and profitability" and the company continues to transform "through strategic portfolio decisions, disciplined capital allocation and debt reduction."

3. Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems reported $231 million in operating income in the first quarter, up from $210 million during the same period last year. Revenues for the three-month period totaled $3.1 billion, a 1% increase year over year. After accounting for interest on expenses ($211 million) and income taxes, CHS ended the first quarter with a $6 million net loss, compared with a $20 million net loss during the same period in 2023. CHS' long-term debt stands at more than $11.5 billion. CEO Tim Hingtgen said he is pleased with the system's first-quarter performance compared to both prior year and prior quarter. "Progress was demonstrated on key operational and strategic priorities, and we remain focused on building further momentum as we pursue the opportunities available to us this year," Mr. Hingtgen said.

4. King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services reported a net income of $261.8 million in the first quarter, a 60.5% increase from the $163.1 million posted in the first quarter of 2023. First-quarter revenue hit $3.8 billion, up 10.8% from $3.5 billion during the same period in 2023. Operating income was $389 million, up from $279 million. UHS said a rise in interest rates has increased borrowing costs and hampered its ability to secure capital on favorable terms. Increases in interest rates could "have a significant unfavorable impact" on the health system's future operations results, and the increased cost of borrowing money could also hurt UHS' strategic plans, according to the management. 

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