Any company whose revenue can be measured in the billions must be doing something right. And by tapping into the massive healthcare industry, HMA (Health Management Associates Inc.) has created a business that, if not immune to an economic downturn, is at least more resilient than most.
“We very much had to react to circumstances,” says Gary D Newsome, president and CEO of Naples-based HMA. “Prior to recent times, healthcare might have been seen to have been recession-proof, but with the length and depth of the recession that we’ve had since 2008, I can’t imagine any business that has been insulated from that.”
Founded in 1977, HMA—which owns and operates 71 hospitals across Florida and 14 other states—has put in place a number of measures designed to counteract the effects of the downturn and grow revenues for the business, without compromising the level of care for which its facilities have become known.
“We have become more effective in how we deliver our care, and this has helped us to grow our revenues organically,” says Newsome. “But we are also operating in an era where we have added about $1.4 billion to the company since December 2009.”
HMA’s revenue for 2011 was $5.8 billion, roughly $700 million above 2010. Newsome believes that the company’s management paradigm represents the future of healthcare, because independent hospitals will find it increasingly difficult to meet the complexities of modern medical needs.
“We are still looking for partnerships, as we were prior to the recession,” he said. “If anything, the process has been accelerated in recent times, and there are some outstanding communities and partnerships which are looking to sell. In fact, at the moment we are turning down as many opportunities are we are acquiring.”
There are good reasons why independent hospitals would want to join the HMA network, which boasts more than 40,000 “associates” (physicians, nurses and administrative and support staff). Among those reasons are its financial strength and its commitment to partnership and quality, as well as its cultural initiative “Getting2Great”, or G2G, which looks to build leadership and a stronger, more cohesive culture among its employees.
HMA also has received it share of accolades. For example, it was named on Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list. Additionally, The Joint Commission recognized 60 percent of HMA’s hospitals as “Top Performers,” far exceeding the industry average.
“In many cases, we have not been the highest bidder,” saysNewsome. “But local boards choose us because they are looking for the right partner. Also, we’re taxpayer rather than a not-for-profit, so we’re supporting the economy and the local government.”