Tenet’s patient volumes face sustained pressure

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/tenets-patient-volumes-face-sustained-pressure/549171/

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Dive Brief:

  • Tenet Health reported Monday patient volumes continue to slide for both inpatient and outpatient units for the fourth quarter and full-year. Looking at volumes on a same facility basis, which accounts for the sale of facilities, total admissions declined nearly 3% in the fourth quarter compared to 2017 and fell nearly 2% in 2018 compared to 2017. Still, the hospital operator beat analyst expectations for its fourth quarter revenue and earnings per share.
  • Hospital segment fourth quarter revenue fell nearly 8% to $3.8 billion from 2017 due to hospital sales last year and the California Provider Fee program. The ambulatory segment reported a modest increase in revenue to $554 million. And client losses in the Conifer RCM segment, which Tenet is looking to sell, caused revenue to dip nearly 6% compared with the fourth quarter in 2017.
  • Overall, for the full year, revenue declined nearly 5% from 2017, while net income improved to $111 million compared to a net loss of $704 million in 2017

Dive Insight:

Hospitals throughout the country continue to face a number of headwinds affecting patient volumes, particularly inpatient admissions. But Tenet reported volume declines for nearly every patient measure, including outpatient visits. 

Tenet’s competitor CHS also reported a drop in total admissions for the year, although CHS’ was much steeper.

While analysts with Jefferies said the softening of patient volumes for Tenet was of concern, the company also delivered strong payer-mix growth and increased hospital profit margins, which underscores “(management’s) progress in delivering cost efficiencies,” the investment bank’s analysts wrote in a note.

CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer told investors Tuesday the company is entering 2019 with a renewed sense of urgency around volume growth. Tenet’s chief operating officer will be tasked with improving organic growth at the system’s hospitals, he said.

Rittenmeyer also outlined the priorities for 2019, which include expanding its ambulatory business, adding new physicians and improving operations to win over patient loyalty. He added the company will look to develop its brand image by delivering the “same unified message” in advertising in its markets around the country.

Tenet disclosed it may have found a buyer or partner for its Conifer business, though executives could not offer any specifics. “We have recently entered into exclusivity with one of the parties that has been engaging with us. While there can be no assurance that this negotiation will result in a transaction we are very pleased with this progress,” Rittenmeyer said.

Tenet also released its guidance for 2019. It expects to generate revenue between $18 billion and $18.4 billion while its window for net income is expected to be between $15 million and $115 million.

Rittenmeyer called 2018 “a year of significant change for the company,” and pledged “additional progress in each of our business segments in 2019 in line with our plan to deliver long-term sustainable growth.”

 

 

 

Tenet looks at offshoring more than 1,000 healthcare jobs

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/tenet-looks-at-offshoring-more-than-1-000-healthcare-jobs.html?origin=cfoe&utm_source=cfoe

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Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare is looking to offshore roles throughout the organization to enhance efficiency, according to executive chairman and CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer’s Jan. 8 presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

Tenet, one of the nation’s major for-profit hospital operators, did not specify what areas of the organization would be affected. However, Mr. Rittenmeyer told The Dallas Morning News that Tenet will “look at aggressively” offshoring jobs “across the whole enterprise,” which includes Conifer Health Solutions, the company’s Frisco, Texas-based healthcare business services subsidiary.

Mr. Rittenmeyer told the publication that Tenet hadn’t determined how many workers would be displaced. He said he expects it will be more than 1,000 but “certainly not 10,000 or 5,000.”

“The number moves around, depending on what we’re looking at,” he added.

Mr. Rittenmeyer said direct patient care employees such as physicians and nurses won’t be affected, but the offshoring could affect employees who manage corporate functions, according to the Morning News.

He told the publication changes will not take place immediately; he expects them to happen over the next 12 to 18 months.

When contacted by Becker’s, Tenet declined to provide more information on the offshoring plans.

But according to the Morning News, Mr. Rittenmeyer expects to release more information at an upcoming employee town hall meeting.

Tenet’s enterprise includes three areas — hospital operations, Conifer and its Addison, Texas-based ambulatory services operation, United Surgical Partners International. A company spokesperson told the Morning News that Tenet’s total North Texas workforce is about 6,150 employees.

 

 

Tenet sees net loss swell to $230M, says $1B hospital divestiture plan is on track

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/tenet-sees-net-loss-swell-to-230m-says-1b-hospital-divestiture-plan-is-on-track.html

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Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, which operates 74 hospitals, saw its net loss widen in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The for-profit hospital operator ended the fourth quarter of 2017 with revenues of $5 billion, up from $4.9 billion in the same period of the year prior. On a same-facility basis, patient revenue was up 6.1 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2017, with adjusted admissions up 1.3 percent.

After factoring in operating expenses, a $252 million write-down of the company’s deferred tax assets due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and a $22 million year-over-year increase in noncontrolling interest expense, Tenet reported a net loss of $230 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. That’s compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, when the company posted a $79 million net loss.

To improve its financial position, Tenet launched a $250 million cost reduction initiative last year, which involves divesting hospitals in non-core markets and cutting 2,000 jobs, or about 2 percent of the company’s workforce.

Tenet’s hospital divestiture plan is expected to yield more than $1 billion of proceeds. A presentation published with the company’s fourth-quarter financial results said the hospital divestiture plan is on track. Tenet sold its last two Philadelphia hospitals in January, and the company said it expects to complete the divestiture of 368-bed MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Ill., in March.

Tenet is also exploring the sale of Conifer Health Solutions, its healthcare business services subsidiary. The company said in December it expects to decide whether to sell Conifer during the first half of 2018.