Houston Firm Opens 2nd Hospital in Arkansas

Houston Firm Opens 2nd Hospital in Arkansas

Nutex Health Inc. of Houston recently opened Fort Smith ER & Hospital, the company’s second micro-hospital in the state.  It plans to open another facility in central Arkansas by 2024, according to Nutex’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Presentation and posted on the health care company’s website.

Nutex officials didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.  

The physician-led health care management company opened the 18,600-SF Fort Smith location on Feb. 6. 

It includes an emergency room with eight exam rooms, four private inpatient beds and in-house imaging, pharmacy and laboratory services.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to bring high quality medical care to this great community,” Dr. Tom Vo, chairman and CEO of Nutex Health, according to a news release. 

The company said that its “proven start-up playbook” includes having 10-15 physicians on staff including emergency doctors, hospitalists and other specialists. It also has 30-40 additional clinical staff. 

It treats patients of all ages for everything from abdominal pain to headaches. 

The construction value for the Fort Smith building was $8.1 million, according to the building permit on file with the city of Fort Smith. The contractor was CBM Construction Co. of Little Rock. 

Founded in 2011, Nutex has 22 centers in eight states and plans to open 22 more and add five states by 2024, it has said. 

Nutex opened the Cabot Emergency Hospital in 2019. 

Nutex says it addresses the challenges facing health care facilities, such as crowded emergency rooms, by having a national network of strategically located micro-hospitals. It also touts wait times averaging less than 10 minutes.

The company has two divisions: a hospital sector, which owns micro-hospitals, specialty hospitals and hospital outpatient departments; and a population health management division, which owns and operates provider networks such as independent physician associations. 

But the publicly traded company’s financial health suffered during the first nine months of 2022. 

For the nine months that ended Sept. 30, the latest figures available, revenue fell to $165.6 million, down from $268.1 million from the same period in 2021. 

Nutex’s gross profit was $13 million, compared with $160 million during the same time in 2021. For the third quarter, its hospital division reported $21.2 million in revenue. For the same quarter in 2021, its revenue was $118 million. 

Nutex didn’t see as many patients in 2022 as it did the prior year. Patient visits were down 11% in the first three quarters of 2022. The company said it had “significant volumes of COVID-19 related cases” in 2021.

Nutex’s total liabilities jumped 48.7% to $302 million in the first nine months of 2022, an increase it tied to financing lease liabilities. 

Vo said in a statement for the third-quarter earnings report that Nutex has “many initiatives underway intended to increase net revenue per patient and to increase patient volumes.”  

Those include increasing efforts to collect patient bills and improving efforts to sign favorable contracts with insurance companies. Nutex also said it would increase its marketing to attract patients. 

It said that during the third quarter Lincoln Park Capital Fund LLC of Chicago committed to buying up to $100 million worth of shares of Nutex’s stock. 

“The committed investment agreement for up to $100 million will provide us with the flexibility to address future growth,” Nutex President Warren Hosseinion said in a November report.