Tenet's preliminary 1Q results show net loss

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Tenet Healthcare Corp. this week said that the healthcare provider expects to report a net loss of approximately $117 million in the first quarter.

Tenet cited losses from discontinued operations, operating results from the discontinued hospitals and various impairment and restructuring charges for the red ink.

Despite the net loss, Tenet President and CEO Trevor Fetter said that hospital chain is "encouraged to see tangible evidence that we are on the right track and our turnaround strategies are focused on the right areas."

Net operating revenues declined by approximately $81 million to $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared with $2.75 billion in the year-ago quarter.

"Though pricing and bad debt expense remain significant operating challenges -- and it will take time to successfully address those issues -- our efforts are beginning to show results," Fetter added, "particularly in the areas we control directly, such as cost management, improved efficiency and our commitment to quality."

Net inpatient revenue per admission was down 1.3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2003 for continuing operations. Outpatient revenue per visit was down 4.5 percent for the same period for continuing operations.