Community Health Systems reports $788M loss, admissions drops

CHS has posted significant losses over the past several years, including a $2 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Getty/turk_stock_photographer)

Community Health Systems lost $328 million in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, a major improvement over last year when it reported a loss of more than $2 billion for the same quarter.

In 2018, the Franklin, Tennessee-based health system reported a loss of $788 million for the year, down from about $2.5 billion in 2017.

Officials pointed to a 15% decrease in total admissions and a 15.3% decrease in total adjusted admissions, compared with the same period in 2017.

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CHS has posted significant losses over the past several years, including that whopping $2 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2017. CHS' revenues were hit especially hard by hurricanes Harvey and Irma last year, which led to an admissions drop of nearly 20% in the latter part of the year. 

RELATED: Community Health Systems touts seeds of success in its new ACOs even as net loss balloons to $325M

Part of CHS' financial recovery strategy has been divesting facilities that are not in its most valuable markets. It sold off 11 facilities in 2018 and has completed three more divestitures in 2019. Officials reported they have agreements in the works to sell four more. 

“During 2018, our market leaders made significant progress across areas such as our patient safety and connectivity, competitive position in core markets, and operational efficiency. These strategic investments and our solid execution drove enhanced same-store performance during 2018," said Wayne T. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Community Health Systems, in a statement.

"In 2019, we believe that we have a number of opportunities to further leverage these strategic initiatives to drive incremental growth, and achieve additional progress as we further strengthen our core portfolio and reduce our debt," Smith said. 

The health system reported net operating revenues for the year ending Dec. 31 totaled $14.2 billion, a 7.8% decrease compared with $15.4 billion for the same period in 2017.

RELATED: Community Health Systems continues hospital sell-off with deal in South Carolina

Among the expenses tallied by the company in 2018 was a settlement for more than $262 million to resolve criminal charges and civil claims against its Health Management Associates (HMA) hospital chain.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 reached $3.5 billion, up from $3.4 billion in the same quarter of 2017. The health system reported net cash used in operating activities was $165 million, including $266 million paid for the HMA legal settlement during the quarter compared to net cash used in operating activities of $156 million in the same period of 2017.

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