UHS sees profits rise in ’09, but expects tougher 2010
Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., reported higher profits for 2009, but warned of headwinds that will weigh on 2010 profits. Universal reported net income of $60.9 million in the fourth quarter, up 31% from the year-ago period. Revenue increased 4.3%, to $1.29 billion. For 2009, net income increased 30.6%, to $260.4 million. Revenue in 2009 was $5.2 billion, up 3.6%. Comparing the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2008 on a same-facility basis, acute-care admissions increased 1.8% and behavioral-health admissions increased 4.2%. Steve Filton, Universal’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, said the company combined the licenses of its hospitals in Edinburg and McAllen, Texas, a few years ago to boost its Texas Medicaid reimbursements, but now those rates have been adjusted, as expected. Also in McAllen, the loss of obstetric cases to a physician-owned competitor led to a drop in the company’s Medicaid disproportionate-share payments in Texas, Filton said. 2010’s net income also will be hit by a lack of projects for the company’s construction management subsidiary, UHS Building Solutions. Combined, these two factors will produce a $28 million drag on profits in 2010. monitoring at HHS, the FDA and elsewhere and assess whether regulators require additional authority. Grassley, who previously had asked roughly 30 hospitals for information on health IT and surveyed vendors in October 2009, also released a letter to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Grassley asked the trade group to respond by March 10 to questions about recommendations put forward in 1997 for voluntary and regulatory oversight of health IT.