Health and Science

Tenet CEO: ER visits are still on the rise

Tenet Healthcare CEO: ERs still busy
Tenet Healthcare CEO: ERs still busy

Emergency rooms are no less crowded since Obamacare started, Tenet Healthcare CEO Trevor Fetter told CNBC on Tuesday.

In a "Squawk Box" interview, Fetter said the growth rate in ER visits has not slowed as many supporters of the president's new health-care law had hoped. "Emergency room visits are up. But emergency room visits have been up every quarter for a really long time."

Overall, the hospital operator said the number of Obamacare patients has increased during the first quarter and into April—with many of them going to regular doctor visits.

Read MoreObamacare enrollments approach 8.02 million

"People who've signed up for the exchange insurance plan are being told by those plans that they are able to have one free checkup every year," Fetter said. "So across our employed-physician base we're starting to see those visits."

Hospitals have been expected to be beneficiaries of the extension of health coverage to more Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare

Strong effect from health care reform: THC CEO
Strong effect from health care reform: THC CEO

Fetter said Tenet has been admitting more and more people to its facilities, especially in states that expanded their Medicaid programs for the poor under Obamacare.

After the bell Monday, Tenet recorded a first quarter loss excluding items of $12 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with income of $34 million, or 33 cents a share, in the period a year ago.

On that basis, analysts had expected a loss of 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue for the quarter of $3.93 billion basically matched estimates. Tenet also confirmed its full-year profit outlook.

Read MoreState(s) of Obamacare: Big boosters come up short

—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Reuters contributed to this report.