|Justice Department probes HCA cardiology care||| Print ||
|Written by TOM MURPHY, AP Business Writer|
|Monday, 06 August 2012 15:29|
HCA Holdings Inc. said Monday the Justice Department wants information about heart procedures performed at some of its locations.
The nation's biggest hospital operator also said in an unusual posting on its website that The New York Times may soon run news stories on patient care at its hospitals. The Times declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.
Shares of the Nashville, Tenn., company fell almost 6 percent in afternoon trading.
HCA said the civil division of the U.S. Attorney's office in Miami has asked for information about reviews that assess the medical necessity of some interventional cardiology services.
It also said the civil division of the Justice Department has contacted HCA as part of a national review of whether charges to the federal government for implantable cardio-defibrillators met government criteria.
It said the Justice Department indicated it will review billing and medical records at 95 HCA hospitals. HCA runs 163 hospitals and 110 free-standing surgery centers.
HCA spokesman Ed Fishbough declined to elaborate on the information requests, which were detailed in a quarterly report filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company posted a four-page letter on the home page of its website, telling visitors on Monday that the Times "appears to be making broad points concerning patient care provided at our company's affiliated hospitals."
It said topics the paper may address include how physicians decide when procedures like cardiac catheterizations are medically necessary, care for the uninsured, emergency services and patient care outcomes.
The letter, which is unsigned and not directed to a specific audience, comes with two pages of charts detailing totals for certain procedures performed at HCA locations.
A Times representative said the paper does not comment on stories that "have yet to publish."
HCA also said Monday its second-quarter net income jumped 71 percent in a performance that topped analyst expectations.
The company earned $391 million, or 85 cents per share, in the quarter that ended June 30. That compares to net income of $229 million, or 43 cents per share, in last year's quarter. Revenue climbed 14 percent to $9.15 billion.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of 78 cents per share on $8.03 billion in revenue.
For the full year, HCA also reaffirmed its forecast for adjusted earnings of $3.57 to $3.77 per share on $32 billion to $33 billion in revenue.
Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $3.58 per share on $32.65 billion in revenue.
Company shares fell $1.31, or 4.9 percent, to $25.30 in afternoon trading after falling as low as $23.91 earlier in the session. Its shares are down 19 percent since peaking for the year at $31.39 on June 29.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
|Last Updated on Monday, 06 August 2012 15:31|