LifePoint Hospitals reported a 44.3% increase in income from continuing operations for the second quarter and raised its financial projections for the full year. The publicly traded chain attributed the results to volume growth, expense management, new acquisitions and a better-than-expected benefit from healthcare reform.
LifePoint raises guidance
Healthcare reform is expected to add $40 million to $50 million to EBITDA for the full year, above the chain’s previous projections, Murphy said.
“We’re excited about our experience with reform so far and we expect that as more states expand (Medicaid) coverage it will become a more meaningful part of our results,” he said.
UHS reported that adjusted acute-care admissions increased 3.6%, and the King of Prussa, Pa.-based chain saw a 7.7% increase in revenue per adjusted admission.
Its acute-care operating margin increased to 19.2% in the second quarter, up from 14.8% in the prior-year period.
In contrast, admissions at its behavioral health hospitals increased 4.4%, but the division’s operating margin was 28.6%, down slightly from 28.7% in the year-ago period.
UHS, which Thursday reported net income that was essentially flat for the quarter, did raise its financial guidance for the full year. It is now projecting earnings per share of $5 to $5.55, up 15% to 16% from the initial $4.80 to $5.10 forecast.
Investors liked what they saw. LifePoint’s shares spiked 15.2% when they opened for trading after the early morning results. UHS shares opened 7.6% higher.