CHS reports net operating revenue of nearly $12B in 2020, outlines 2021 guidance

Community Health Systems
Community Health Systems announced operating revenue of nearly $12 billion for 2020. (CHS)

Community Health Systems had an estimated net operating revenue of between $11.7 and $11.8 billion for 2020 thanks in part to relief funding that helped the system weather the COVID-19 financial crisis.

The 86-hospital system released its preliminary earnings on Thursday and also gave a financial outlook for 2021.

CHS’ adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $1.6 to $1.8 billion. That was slightly above the financial guidance it gave back in February before it was withdrawn in April after the onset of the pandemic.

The pandemic has caused massive financial disruptions for hospital systems as volumes plummeted in March and April when hospitals were forced to cancel elective procedures to preserve capacity to fight the virus.

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While volumes rebounded in late spring and summer, some systems are seeing volumes still below pre-pandemic levels and hospitals have faced renewed surges of the virus.

Like other hospital systems, CHS got help from a $175 billion provider relief fund passed by Congress last April.

The system recognized approximately $600 million in relief funds for 2020. However, CHS estimates that the revenues lost from the pandemic “exceed the aforementioned amount of pandemic relief funds recognized,” the earnings said.

But CHS did put out a preliminary earnings guidance for 2021. It anticipates net operating revenue for the year of between $11.7 and $12.5 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $1.6 and $1.8 billion.

“This guidance reflects anticipated continued execution of our previously-stated margin initiatives and does not take into account the potential recognition of additional pandemic relief funds,” CHS said.

It remains unclear if Congress will approve more relief funds. President-elect Biden and the Democratic-controlled Congress have called for more relief.