Tenet Healthcare loses $33M for Q4 '08

Tenet Healthcare Corp. reported a $33 million fourth-quarter loss for 2008, a loss largely driven by a charge stemming from the sale of two hospitals. Tenet had originally expected a $5 million profit for this quarter, but when it sold USC University Hospital and USC Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Hospital, it took a $40 million charge on the deal.

The loss is an improvement over the same quarter the previous year, when it saw a loss of $75 million on $2.1 billion in revenue. But otherwise, it represents something of a standstill.

The stagnant nature of Tenet's business is also reflected in its volume numbers. Same-hospital inpatient admissions, excluding charity care and the uninsured, increased by only 168 patients to 122,158 compared with the 2007 quarter.

Meanwhile, bad debt grew 23 percent, to $163 million, from $133 million during 2007. This was true despite the fact that charity and uninsured admissions fell by more than 4 percent.

To learn more about these results:
- read this Associated Press piece

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