Business

HCA earnings up

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 11, 2009

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HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, reported that its earnings for the first quarter of 2009 were more than double those of the like period in 2008.

In late April, HCA reported net earnings of $360 million, up from $170 million the previous first quarter. First-quarter revenue was $7.4 billion, only a slight rise from $7.1 billion in the like period in 2008.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company attributed $75 million to $100 million of its earnings improvement to a new model for determining emergency department evaluation and management. Also, the company's "provision for doubtful accounts," money set aside for cases in which patients don't pay their bills, decreased to $807 million from $888 million in the prior year.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/05/11/bibf0511.htm.

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