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Tickers in this Article: CNMD, HMA, ACHC, STE
Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA), a leading operator of general acute care hospitals, recently reported that it will extend its operating and management expertise. Operating and management consultancy is to also be offered to hospitals that are not affiliated to it and situated in certain markets.

Health Management believes that a large number of community hospitals may be searching for expertise on management and operations-related issues. The company believes that its offerings in these areas will be timely given the evolving nature of the hospital business.

Institutions that choose to be associated with Health Management’s management division will be recipients of corporate consulting offerings. They will also be recipients of market insights and Health Management will share with them best practices in the industry. In addition, Health Management will provide advice on financial matters, information technology and other activities.

Health Management was launched in the 1970s. It is engaged in the ownership and operation of general acute care hospitals in non-urban communities across the U.S. The company is an active acquirer of underperforming hospitals with a turnaround potential in high-growth markets.

Health Management benefits from a gradual growth in admissions largely due to improvements in Emergency Room, sustained physician recruitment and service development. Moreover, it is well placed to expand margins from continuing operations and drive above industry average earnings growth. The debt burden for the company remains sizeable.

We currently have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) on Health Management. We are more positive about Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We are also positive about CONMED Corporation (CNMD) and Steris Corp. (STE) each of which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and are expected to do well.

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