USPI CEO says more health systems are looking for ASC partnerships than ever before: 5 quotes from Q1 earnings call

For the first quarter of 2018, USPI reported $498 million in net operating revenue, up 9.5 percent over the same period last year, and a 3.2 percent increase in same-facility cases.

Since the quarter's end, Tenet upped its ownership stake in USPI and now owns 95 percent of the company. During the first quarter earnings conference call, Tenet Executive Chairman and CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer, President of Hospital Operations J. Eric Evans and Vice Chairman Bill Wilcox all spoke about the future of USPI. Here are five key quotes from the first quarter earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

Ronald Rittenmeyer on ambulatory success: "In our ambulatory segment, we delivered growth in revenue and revenue per case in our structural business, driven by higher acuity cases. We did face a headwind on surgical cases, due in part to the impact of the flu and higher deductibles, which have also become typical in this first quarter. We're very pleased with the growth in adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA less NCI in our ambulatory segment. This is a consistent area of strength for USPI and continues to be so."

RR on the future of USPI: "When you look at the balance of 2018, USPI has a robust pipeline for development activity. We are in discussions with new health system partners and remain bullish about additional opportunities to steadily expand our portfolio in key markets, and that includes growth in both our surgical and non-surgical businesses."

RR on naming USPI Chairman and CEO Bill Wilcox vice chairman of Tenet: "Bill will drive the continued integration of USPI and Tenet where appropriate, as well as maintain strategic oversight of enterprise business development, including sales and marketing…The addition of Bill Wilcox as vice chairman of Tenet will bring some of the great things that USPI is doing to our Tenet team directly."

Bill Wilcox on new health system partners: "I don't think we've ever experienced a time in the last 20 years that we've had more interest from new health system partners and then also from growing our relationships with existing health system partners. I believe each of them as well as here at Tenet understands the need to have a strategy that goes beyond the hospital…and ambulatory is a big part of that."

J. Eric Evans on the Detroit market: "It's a market where I think there are ambulatory opportunities and we'll continue to look at that. Some of the dynamics by market make ambulatory less or more attractive, but certainly it's a market where we do believe there's ambulatory opportunities for us in the future."

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