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Tenet reports increased earnings but delay in sale of Conifer

As a result of divestiture activity at Tenet and other customers, Conifer's revenue decreased 3.5 percent in Q2 2018 compared to last year.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Tenet Healthcare this week reported earnings for the second quarter of $634 million, up from $570 million during the same period last year. However, shares were reportedly down more than 15 percent on the news that the system was still working to sell its subsidiary, Conifer Health Solutions.

The company announced during its earnings call that it has yet to offload its revenue cycle solutions business.

Tenet initiated the sale of Conifer in 2017. UnitedHealth Group was among those exploring the potential purchase of the company that remained a relatively strong revenue source. CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer said at the time that though Conifer had a base of 800 hospitals and was a very valuable asset, it was not strategic to own it.

During the second quarter of 2018, as a result of divestiture activity at Tenet and other customers, Conifer's revenue decreased 3.5 percent to $386 million, down from $400 million in the second quarter of 2017, according to Tenet's earnings report. 

Tenet's net operating revenues in hospital operations were $3.73 billion during Q2 ending June 30, an 8.6 percent decrease over the year prior, primarily due to hospital divestitures and the wind-down of its health plan business.

Hospital segment same-hospital net patient revenue grew 3.2 percent, but admissions fell by 2.3 percent during the second quarter, with the declines most felt in Chicago and Detroit.

"We are becoming a more agile and decisive organization and are pleased with our strong financial results for the third quarter in a row," Rittenmeyer said. "We have demonstrated our ability to appropriately minimize costs, which will be an ongoing fundamental part of how we do business. Our top priorities remain strengthening our portfolio, delivering more consistent organic growth and taking additional steps to enhance our margins and free cash flow."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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