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CHS reports lower patient volume, higher expenses since HMA integration


By Beth Kutscher
Posted: May 6, 2014 - 7:30 pm ET
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Community Health Systems, in its first earnings report since completing its takeover of Health Management Associates, said the company continued to lose patient volume and booked higher expenses related to the integration.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based chain, now the largest in the country by hospital count, reported a loss from continuing operations of $78 million compared with income of $98 million in the prior-year period.

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Net operating revenue for the combined company increased 28.1% to $4.2 billion compared with $3.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013.

In addition to the acquisition costs, the company said the first-quarter results reflect expenses related to HMA's pending lawsuits and government investigations.

Other expenses were related to the early extinguishment of debt and software that needed to be taken out of service, according to a news release.

Patient volume also continued to fall on a same-hospital basis, with admissions declining 8.1% or 5.3% adjusted for outpatient activity. Like its peers, the company blamed harsh winter weather and a milder flu season for depressing volume.

However, CHS' total admissions increased 24.7% and adjusted admissions, 28.4%, for the combined group.

CHS provided limited information on the impact of healthcare reform ahead of its earnings call Wednesday but noted there were “positive trends in our operations.”

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher


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