DaVita healthCare Partners Inc. (DVA)

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DaVita (DVA)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 16, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Jim Gustafson - Vice President of Investor Relations

Kent J. Thiry - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Luis A. Borgen - Chief Financial Officer

LeAnne M. Zumwalt - Former Vice President of Investor Relations


Matthew Borsch - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Kevin K. Ellich - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Gary Lieberman - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Justin Lake - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Ben Andrew - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Kevin M. Fischbeck - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Gary P. Taylor - Citigroup Inc, Research Division



Good afternoon. My name is Jamaria, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the DaVita Q4 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Mr. Jim Gustafson. Sir, you may begin your conference.

Jim Gustafson

Thank you, Jamaria, and welcome, everyone, to our fourth quarter conference call. We appreciate your continued interest in our company. I'm Jim Gustafson, Vice President of Investor Relations, and with me today are Kent Thiry, our CEO; Luis Borgen, our CFO; and LeAnne Zumwalt, Group Vice President.

I'd like to start with our forward-looking disclosure statements. During this call, we may make forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All of these statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. For further details concerning these risks and uncertainties, please refer to our SEC filings, including our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q and annual report on Form 10-K. Our forward-looking statements are based upon information currently available to us, and we do not intend and undertake no duty to update these statements for any reason.

Additionally, I'd like to remind you that during this call, we will discuss some non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures is included in our Form 8-K submitted to the SEC and available on our website.

I will now turn the call over to Kent Thiry, our Chief Executive Officer.

Kent J. Thiry

Okay. Greetings. Let me first repeat Jim's thanks for your interest in our/your company. The fourth quarter was a strong one, and 2011 was a strong year, both clinically, operationally and financially. Because we just completed a fiscal year, I'll cover a few more topics than usual:

Number one, as always, clinical outcomes; number two, 2011 acquisitions; number three, a brief investigations update; number four, a little snippet of info on DaVita Rx, our specialty pharmacy group; number five, the concept and potential reality of integrated care; number six, our outlook going forward; and number seven, discuss a little bit of recent organizational announcement. I'll try to be crisp [ph] since there's more than usual.

First, our clinical outcomes. We always present those first because that is what comes first. We are, first and foremost, a caregiver company serving now approximately 142,000 patients, about 1 out of 3 in America. With respect to adequacy, which is essentially how well we're doing at removing toxins from our patient's blood, this quarter, 97% of our hemodialysis patients had a Kt/V greater than 1.2.

And with respect to vascular access, 69% of our patients have fistulas, the preferred form of vascular access. For these and virtually all other clinical measures, our patient outcomes compare very favorably to national averages. And I'll take a moment to say that in 2011, for the 11th year in a row, we're able to state unambiguously that we had better clinical outcomes in the prior year, which means also our best ones ever. We hope we can repeat those words to you in one more year at the beginning of 2013.

Moving on to number two, on the acquisition front. As you know, most of you, we closed and are integrating DSI, which added 83 centers, net of divestitures. The integration is going solidly. But in addition to that, we closed acquisitions of an additional 65 centers. All of these transactions added more than 10,000 new patients who are entrusting us with their essential care, and we are very focused on providing that great care, as well as ensuring good returns on a significant amount of your capital that we deployed in that fashion in that year.

Third, I'd like to give you a brief update on one of the litigation investigations, the 2011 U.S. Attorney Physician Relationship Investigation that we have discussed with you before. The investigation, as expected, is continuing and they’ve now asked for testimony by some executives of the company and some current and former members of the board through subpoenas. Asking for some live testimonies was to be expected. We have cooperated with their historical requests. We will continue to cooperate. At this point, they are collecting information. No charges have been filed, and we look forward to beginning substantive discussions with the government and are hoping that happens soon.

Number four, DaVita Rx had a very successful year. They grew revenue about 45% to over $300 million and are modestly in the black. They are now providing important oral medication management services for over 41,000 patients and providing strong clinical benefits to our patients and strong support services and information to our physicians.

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