Modern Healthcare: Hospital Stocks Saw Hefty Gains In 2012 Despite ACA Jitters
Hospital stocks ended 2012 posting big gains despite a year that was filled with uncertainty regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When the closing bell rang Dec. 31, HCA, Nashville, the largest investor-owned chain, was trading 37% higher than it was on the last trading day of 2011. Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn., added more than 77% to its market capitalization. And Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, saw gains of 58% over the same period. The boost came despite a tumultuous—but ultimately fruitful—year that saw the U.S. Supreme Court uphold key provisions of the healthcare law, and the re-election of President Barack Obama to cement its future. And despite weak patient volume, investor-owned systems managed to cut costs, boost outpatient revenue and reap gains from strategic acquisitions to satisfy investors (Kutscher, 1/2).