Health Management Associates, Inc. Updates 2004 Financial Objectives

NAPLES, Fla., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Health Management Associates, Inc. announced today that it has updated its financial objectives for the fourth quarter and year ending September 30, 2004 to reflect the estimated impact of Hurricanes Charley and Frances. Based on a preliminary review of operations at HMA's Top 100 Heart Hospital, the Charlotte Regional Medical Center, located in Punta Gorda, Florida, which sustained damage in the storm, and the effects of hurricane-related power outages and service disruptions at several other HMA hospitals located in central Florida, management anticipates that the impact to earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 will be a reduction of up to $0.02 per diluted share. Management now anticipates that earnings per share ("EPS") will be $0.32 per share for the fourth quarter compared to $0.28 per share for the same quarter a year ago and $1.34 per share for the year ending September 30, 2004. HMA's objectives for fiscal year 2005 will be announced on Tuesday, October 26, 2004.

HMA and its hospitals are insured for property damage and business interruption. HMA has initiated the insurance claims process, and intends to work closely with its insurers during the next several months to finalize and settle all hurricane-related claims. Management expects that HMA will recover all amounts claimed, including claims for property damage and losses due to business interruption, subject to policy deductibles estimated to be between $6-8 million.

"The fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004 has been a challenge for our Florida hospitals, and through the worst of two natural disasters, our employees and physicians displayed extraordinary effort and dedication in order to serve the health care needs of our communities," said Joseph Vumbacco, President and Chief Executive Officer of HMA. "The HMA employees and families affected by these tragedies acknowledge and are grateful for the continued outpouring of donations and support."

Hurricane Charley made landfall on Friday, August 13, 2004 in Southwest Florida. The eye of Hurricane Charley struck Punta Gorda, Florida in Charlotte County. HMA's Top 100 Heart Hospital, the 208-bed Charlotte Regional Medical Center, and several ancillary buildings sustained damage, causing hospital operations to be suspended. After around-the-clock repairs, Charlotte Regional's emergency room was re-opened in less than a week, and today the hospital is partially operational, including the delivery of open- heart surgery services.

"The re-opening of emergency services at Charlotte Regional Medical Center only 168 hours after the storm's direct strike is a testament to HMA's commitment to its communities," added Vumbacco. "Such a prompt return to service should serve as a symbol of hope to the residents of Punta Gorda and Charlotte County both that the rebuilding process has begun and that HMA will continue to serve the health care needs of the community."

During the past 45 days, two hurricanes and a tropical storm have made landfall in the State of Florida. The disruption created by these major storms has been felt throughout the state and at all 14 HMA hospitals. Hurricane damage and disruption to employees' homes, local businesses and physician offices has been extensive, and as a result, has limited the normal scope of health care services being provided in our communities. Millions of residents, encompassing several counties, have been evacuated from their homes. Visitors and vacationers have left the state, and the timing of their return is uncertain. On September 10, 2004, Hurricane Ivan's projected path was expected to affect the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula, creating the potential for a fourth storm to make landfall in Florida within the past 45 days. Effective September 10, 2004, both the Fishermen's Hospital, located in Marathon, Florida, and the Lower Keys Medical Center, located in Key West, Florida, have been evacuated and have suspended services until after Hurricane Ivan passes. The impact of Hurricane Ivan has not been included in management's updated 2004 objectives provided above, however, if conditions warrant, HMA will provide an update on any additional impact to 2004 objectives.

HMA is the premier operator of non-urban general acute care hospitals in communities situated throughout the United States. HMA has generated 15 years of uninterrupted operating earnings growth and, upon completing its previously announced transaction to acquire the 82-bed Chester County Hospital, will operate 53 hospitals in 16 states with 7,659 licensed beds.

Certain statements contained in this release, including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," "optimistic," and words of similar import, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may include projections of revenues, income or loss, capital expenditures, capital structure, or other financial items, statements regarding the plans and objectives of management for future operations, statements of future economic performance, statements of the assumptions underlying or relating to any of the foregoing statements, and other statements which are other than statements of historical fact.

Statements made throughout this release are based on current estimates of future events, and the Company has no obligation to update or correct these estimates. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially as a result of these various factors.

Photo: Management Associates, Inc.

CONTACT: John C. Merriwether, Vice President of Financial Relations ofHealth Management Associates, Inc., +1-239-598-3104

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