HCA turns 50: 7 facts about the hospital giant

In 1968, a father and son physician team and their business partner sought to build a new type of healthcare organization by applying principles of scale to the hospital business. Their corporation, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, will turn 50 years old in August.

In honor of its 50th birthday, here are seven things to know about the hospital giant:

1. HCA comprises 178 hospitals and 1,800 care sites across 20 states and the U.K. The health system employs roughly 38,000 active physicians and 87,000 nurses across its various facilities.

2. The organization saw 28.2 million patient encounters, 8.6 million emergency room visits and 217,000 babies delivered as of April 2018. Roughly 5 percent of all hospital services occur at an HCA facility.

3. HCA was founded by Thomas Frist Sr., MD; Thomas Frist Jr., MD; and businessman Jack Massey. The goal was to bring together several hospitals and combine their resources to strengthen each facility and improve the practice of medicine. At the time of its founding, the system was composed of 11 hospitals; by the end of the year, it had grown to encompass 26 hospitals with a total of 3,000 beds.

4. At its peak, the $20 billion corporation owned more than 350 hospitals, 145 outpatient surgery centers and 550 home care agencies, had 285,000 employees, and had participated in several large-scale mergers and acquisitions. In 1997, the younger Dr. Frist returned to serve as chairman and CEO of the institution, with plans to restructure the company to provide patient-centered care through a core group of market hospitals.

5. HCA has operated as both a private and public company throughout its nearly 50-year history. The hospital chain has operated as a publicly traded company since March 2011.

6. R. Milton Johnson serves as the chairman and CEO of HCA. A 35-year veteran of the organization, Mr. Johnson worked in a number of executive roles during his tenure, including head of the tax department, senior vice president and controller, and executive vice president and CFO. He was appointed president of HCA in 2011 and appointed chairman and CEO in 2014.

7. The hospital chain's most recent financial statement indicates it saw revenues increase 7.4 percent year over year to $11.5 billion during the second quarter of 2018. HCA ended the second quarter with net income of $820 million, up 25 percent from $657 million in the second quarter of 2017.

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