- Community Health Systems reported a $675 million net loss to shareholders for 2019, a narrower loss compared to the year prior, while total admissions fell as the hospital operator continues to trim its portfolio.
- Net operating revenue for the fourth quarter fell nearly 5% to about $3.3 billion compared to the prior-year quarter as admissions remained flat when comparing the same facilities year-over-year, though total admissions including divestitures fell nearly 10%.
- The system reported a quarterly net loss to shareholders of $373 million, a steeper loss than the prior-year quarter's drop of $328 million.
The results were a familiar story for the Tennessee-based chain, which has been culling unprofitable hospitals for years after its troubled 2014 acquisition of Health Management Associates. HMA, a CHS subsidiary, was hit with a $260 million fine in 2018 to resolve allegations of defrauding government programs.
Shares of CHS were trading up Thursday morning after the results beat Wall Street's expectations.
CHS shed 12 hospitals from its portfolio last year and will continue to trim its hospital assets through at least mid-2020, the system said in its fourth quarter earnings release Wednesday.
The system operated 102 hospitals at the end of 2019. CHS is seeking additional deals and is "in various stages of negotiation with potential buyers," the company said in its earnings statement.
At the end of January, the system entered into definitive agreements to sell an additional two hospitals. Those deals have yet to be completed.
Total admissions fell 11% in 2019 compared to 2018. However, when comparing the same hospitals year-over-year, admissions increased 1.3% and net operating revenue increased 4.2%. Still, total net operating revenue for the year, which accounts for the divestitures, was $13.2 billion, a nearly 7% decrease from 2018.
"Our successful divestiture program, along with strategic growth initiatives in our core portfolio of markets, has driven better results, including improved same-store volume and net revenue growth in 2019," CEO Wayne Smith said in a statement.
CHS released its projections for 2020 and expects net operating revenues to decline and to be between $12.4 billion and $12.8 billion. CHS is forecasting same-facility adjust admission growth to be between 1.5% and 2.5%.