HCA Inc.'s second-quarter profit grew 3.9% as the hospital chain reported higher revenue and fewer bad-debt provisions. The company, which operates 163 hospitals and 105 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and in England, was taken private in a 2006 leveraged buyout. In May, the company announced it planned to hold an initial public offering of up to an estimated $4.6 billion. The company had been planning to go public since the beginning of the year, but waited for health-care reform legislation to pass before filing. HCA began in the 1960s, when a group of physicians in Nashville, TN, formed their own management company, Hospital Corporation of America. On Thursday, HCA posted a profit of $293 million, up from $282 million a year earlier. Revenue climbed 3.6% to $7.76 billion. Bad-debt provisions declined to $788 million from $866 million a year ago.