Tenet sees patient volume returning, has $2.7B cash on hand

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare is starting to see patient volume return to pre-COVID-19 levels, the 65-hospital system said in an investor presentation June 16. 

The system saw its patient volume drop most significantly in April, with a 33 percent drop in admissions, 55 percent drop in hospital surgical cases and 80 percent drop in its USPI surgical cases. The drop in volume occurred after elective procedures were suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in the first week of June, Tenet said patient admissions have recovered to 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, hospital surgeries have recovered to 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels and USPI surgical cases have rebounded to 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The patient volume return signals a positive step for Tenet, according to the presentation. 

To help mitigate losses from the pandemic, Tenet took several steps, including furloughing 10 percent of its workforce, slashing capital spending and adding liquidity by offering $1.3 billion in secured notes and boosting its line of credit. 

The system also received more than $2.5 billion total from various federal relief programs, including advance payments from Medicare. Tenet noted that it needs to repay $1.5 billion to Medicare by April 2021 that was received in the form of advance payments. 

"We do appreciate the stimulus we've received so far because we did lose a significant amount of revenue in April," Tenet CEO Ron Rittenmeyer told investors June 16. 

As of June 15, the system had about $2.7 billion in cash on hand and a credit line of $1.9 billion with no borrowing.

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