Advanced Health welcomes push for day hospitals


Advanced Health welcomes push for day hospitals

Published Date: 2017-12-19 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Advanced Health welcomes push for day hospitals

The hospitals group says it's seen a strong rise in patient numbers but analysts aren't buying it

Medical schemes are unsurprisingly voicing positive support for same-day medical procedures to be performed in day hospitals, which costs them less than overnight stays. Advanced Health says various medical schemes gave a clear indication of this at the recent annual general meeting of the Day Hospital Association, which bodes well for its business.

In a voluntary operational update, it said it had made positive progress at its local and Australian day hospital over the past few months, with the number of patients treated for the five-month to end November jumping 36% from a year earlier, while it treated 17% more patients last month than in October and 45% more than it did in November 2016.

However, top small-caps analyst Anthony Clark notes that while patient numbers are rising, margins are falling as it earns less per patient.

The group reported sharply higher losses for the year to June due to rising head office costs and its sub-scale South African operation. Its headline loss per share more than doubled to 17.08c. However, South Africa's contribution to income is increasing, as more day hospitals are opened and patient numbers increase.

Related article: Advanced Health's losses widens as it rolls out more hospitals

Advanced Health said a provisional report on the Competition Commission's Health Market Inquiry, which scrutinises the private healthcare industry in the country, was scheduled to be released last month but has been postponed until the end of April. It says it supports the Inquiry's main objective, which prioritises the provision of quality care in a cost-effective manner.

Its shares closed 17% higher at 76c.

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