Health Care

HCA reports net income, revenue was up for 2009

Confirming its preliminary report from January, HCA said Thursday that 2009 was a good year.

Net income for the year was $1.05 billion compared with $673 million in 2008.

Net income was down for the fourth quarter — $216 million compared with $276 million a year earlier — but revenue was up 4.1 percent — $7.6 billion, compared with $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, the company said.

That's what it estimated in its January preliminary report.

For all of 2009, HCA had revenue of $30.05 billion compared with $28.37 billion in 2008.

HCA is the parent company of Wesley Medical Center.

In a conference call, Richard Bracken, HCA president and CEO, said the company had been prepared for 2009 "to be a tough year." But expense control and moderated capital spending "served us very well.... We were able to show solid earnings."

Admissions and emergency department visits were up for the fourth quarter, even adjusting for H1N1 volume, the company said.

Fourth-quarter performance was "driven by solid inpatient, outpatient and emergency department volumes," it said.

Bracken said other measures also showed improvement: employee satisfaction scores are at record highs and turnover is down; quality outcomes continue to improve.

At the end of 2009, HCA operated 163 hospitals and 105 freestanding surgery centers.