Tenet Healthcare reported continued losses in its first quarter of 2019, with officials pointing to factors such as a $38 million increase in malpractice expenses for the decline.
In all, the Dallas-based health system giant reported a net loss of $27 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to profits of $98 million in its first quarter last year. Tenet reported net operating revenues were $3.9 billion in the first quarter ending March 31, down 2.2% from the first quarter of 2018. The decline in revenue was attributed largely to hospital divestitures that were partially offset by same-hospital growth.
Ronald Rittenmeyer, executive chairman and CEO, in a statement said the health system is making progress in each of its business segments, and Tenet officials are pleased with the company's performance operationally and financially as they work to "sharpen operations and our competitive position.”
“We had a solid start to the year, building on the many positive changes we made across the enterprise in 2018," Rittenmeyer said. "These changes include the continued addition of new leadership as well as an infusion of fresh thinking, which are helping to transform our approach to operations and overall enterprise culture."
Tenet also pointed to its revenue cycle management subsidiary Conifer Health, which it is seeking to divest from and which officials have indicated is close to a deal.
In the first quarter, Conifer’s revenue dropped 13.6% to $349 million from $404 million in the first quarter of 2018, largely due to client attrition following divestitures by Tenet and other customers. Conifer's revenue from third-party customers dropped 20.1% to $203 million in the first quarter of 2019. There was also $10 million in contract termination fees received by Conifer in the first quarter of 2018 that did not occur again in the first quarter of 2019.