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News Briefs: Financial execs expect to lose on hired docs; Admissions up at IASIS; Quest climbs back

IASIS Healthcare earnings, admissions up; Quest upgraded; HFMA probes physician hire returns.

 IASIS Healthcare plans to sell North Vista Hospital in North Las Vegas, Nevada. IASIS Healthcare plans to sell North Vista Hospital in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here’s a quick look at some recent headlines in the world of healthcare finance.

Survey: Physician hires show poor ROI

A majority of  financial executives do not expect to see a positive return on investment on newly hired physicians until at least two years, a new survey by the Healthcare Financial Management Association claims. This highlights the need for providers to enact more reliable ways to gauge the financial performance of these staff members.
 
According to the survey, only 25 percent said they expect to see positive returns on physician hires within two years.
 
The HFMA survey was meant to illustrate the need for hospitals to set up new systems to measure the financial impact of hired physicians. HFMA researchers advocate for a more complete value assessment of physicians, rather than the traditional “loss per physician” measure. The move is especially important as more payers are reimbursing providers through a value-based system.
 
The HFMA survey also suggests integrated networks such as accountable care organizations can be an alternative to physician employment by aligning practices rather than hiring doctors.

Income, admissions up at IASIS

Privately held hospital management company IASIS Healthcare said it pulled in $655.4 million in revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, and a profit of nearly $74 million before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent. That’s compared to EBIDAR profit of $64 million and revenue of $563 million in the same period last year.
 
The news comes just weeks after the Franklin, Tennessee-based company said it would sell its 177-bed North Vista Hospital in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
 
Admissions climbed 0.8 percent in the quarter while adjusted admissions, which factors in the volume of outpatient services, rose 2.6 percent. 
 
“We are excited about our plans for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year, which include growing our core provider business, expanding our managed care operations and continuing integration of our business lines in a manner that improves population health, results in more cost efficient care and drives value,” CEO Carl Whitmer said in a statement.
 
For fiscal 2014, the company recorded $287.7 million in adjusted earnings, on revenue of $2.5 billion, up 10 percent year over year.

REIT adds properties in 3Q

Atlanta-based Global Healthcare REIT recently said it widened its third quarter loss to $160,000 due to acquisition costs, while revenue from its portfolio of healthcare properties rose significantly in the quarter.
 
According to Global Healthcare, revenue was $453,000 for the quarter, compared to $143,000 in the same period last year, coming solely in the form of rent from the firm’s nursing home properties.
 
The company also said it purchased five properties in the quarter, bringing its total portfolio of rental properties to 11. In total, Global Healthcare’s assets rose to $39.6 million.

Quest Diagnostics climbs back

Analysts at Deutsche Bank in mid-November upgraded testing firm Quest Diagnostics from a hold to a buy rating following a credit rating upgrade by Morningstar. Quest scored a BBB+ rating and three stars.
 
Shares in Quest are trading near their 52-week high mark of $65.64, but Deutsche Bank expects shares to approach $75 apiece. The Madison, New Jersey-based company has seen shares rebound for much of 2014, after hitting a low of $50 per share in February. Quest posted a profit of $190 million in the third quarter of 2014.

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