Briefs

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Univer­sal Health Ser­vices, one of the largest for-profit hos­pi­tal com­pa­nies in the U.S., is jumping back onto the in­ter­na­tional scene.

UHS has bought Cygnet Health Care for $335 mil­lion, the King of Prus­sia, Pa.-based company said. Cygnet, head­quar­tered out­side London, has 15 in­pa­tient be­hav­ioral-health hos­pi­tals and two nurs­ing homes through­out the U.K. For UHS, it’s a re­turn to Europe. UHS had fa­cil­i­ties in the U.K. and France ear­lier in its his­tory but even­tu­ally sold them. The ac­qui­si­tion is at­trac­tive for UHS be­cause the U.K. health­care mar­ket is ripe for pri­vate in­vest­ment, one Wall Street an­a­lyst noted.

A fed­eral snap­shot of the U.S. econ­omy re­leased Fri­day pro­vided no ev­i­dence that mil­lions of newly in­sured Americans fu­eled faster growth in health spend­ing im­me­di­ately after Oba­macare’s first en­roll­ment push.

Health spend­ing in­creased 3.8% dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter com­pared with the same quar­ter a year ago, not ad­just­ing for in­fla­tion, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Bureau of Eco­nomic Anal­y­sis. That’s higher than an Au­gust es­ti­mate of 2.9%, but econ­o­mists cau­tioned at the time that the Au­gust fig­ure lacked cru­cial data and was likely too low. The es­ti­mate in­cludes data from a survey of con­sumer spend­ing pub­lished this month and is con­sid­ered more ac­cu­rate.

Tem­ple Univer­sity Health Sys­tem, a three-hos­pi­tal aca­demic med­i­cal cen­ter in north­ern Philadel­phia, con­tin­ues to lose money in its day-to­day op­er­a­tions,

the re­sult of low­erthan-ex­pected vol­umes and sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of Medi­care and Med­i­caid pa­tients, the sys­tem re­ported re­cently. Tem­ple re­ported a $10 mil­lion op­er­at­ing loss on about $1.4 bil­lion in rev­enue in its fis­cal 2014, ended June 30, ac­cord­ing to unau­dited fi­nan­cial fig­ures. That’s an im­prove­ment from fis­cal 2013, when Tem­ple recorded an $18.2 mil­lion op­er­at­ing loss. Ex­clud­ing in­vest­ment in­come and un­re­stricted phi­lan­thropy, the sys­tem lost $25.3 mil­lion in fis­cal 2014. Tem­ple, Philadel­phia’s largest safety net provider, holds 20% of the lo­cal mar­ket.

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