New Wave Of Patients Boosting Hospital Earnings

Earnings reports offered last week by two hospital operators offer evidence that the health law's coverage expansion is leading more patients to seek treatment.

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Law Patients Boost Hospital Profits
A wave of newly insured patients helped boost hospitals' earnings in recent months, two hospital operators said Friday, a sign the law's coverage expansion is leading more patients to seek treatment. Universal Health Services Inc. UHS 's revenue rose 10% for the second quarter compared with a year earlier. LifePoint Hospitals Inc.'s profit rose to $39.1 million for the quarter, a 44% increase compared with last year's quarter. Those results arrive on the heels of HCA Holdings Inc. HCA's announcement of strong earnings last week ahead of its July 29 earnings call (Weaver,7/25).

The Wall Street Journal: Universal Health Services Profit Down On Higher Operating Charges
"The reduction in uncompensated care at our acute care hospitals resulting both from healthcare reform and improvements in the underlying economy partially reverses a trend that had been hindering our results for an extended period of time," said Alan B. Miller, the company's chief executive (Armental, 7/24).

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