HCA's plans for more ASCs, outpatient rebound & more: 4 earnings call notes

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare expects to add several ASCs this year and has seen a rebound in outpatient activity.

Here are four takeaways from HCA's first quarter 2021 earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha:

1. HCA has 10 to 12 new ASCs under development, CEO Sam Hazen said.

"We continue to invest broadly across our networks to improve convenience, access, and value for patients by developing more outpatient facilities," he said. "The pipeline for development and acquisition in this category remains strong."

2. Outpatient surgery activity so far in 2021 was mostly identical to March 2019, Mr. Hazen said. While first quarter outpatient volumes grew compared to the first quarter of 2020, they were still slightly below compared to the first quarter of 2019.

3. Outpatient activities in Texas were back to normal within a week after February storms, Mr. Hazen said. He didn't say to what extent storms affected outpatient activity in March. 

4. First quarter revenue growth was generated by a rebound in surgical and outpatient volumes, along with highly acute inpatient volumes and improved payer mix, Mr. Hazen said.

"When I look broadly across outpatient volumes, not just surgical, cardiac volume, very strong performance in electrophysiology on the cardiac side, recovery in endoscopic procedures on the outpatient side," he said.

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