Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn., said its profits for the three and six months ended June 30 were up about 25% and its profit margins held steady despite an increase in bad debt as a percentage of revenue. Revenue growth for both periods was fueled by acquisitions and same-hospital admissions increases. Community earned $38.4 million, or 37 cents per share, in its second quarter, compared with $30.6 million, or 30 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue climbed nearly 24% to $813.7 million. For the six months, Community earned $79.2 million, or 77 cents per share, compared with $64.2 million, or 64 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue was up 24% to $1.64 billion.
The company's bad-debt expense as a percentage of revenue rose to 10.4% for the quarter and 10.3% for the six months, compared with about 9.4% for both periods in 2003. The increase in bad debt, as well as slight increases in labor and supply costs, were offset by savings in other operating expenses and lower depreciation and amortization. As a result, the company's profit margins were stable compared with the previous periods -- around 4.7% for the quarters and 4.8% for the six-month periods. Same-hospital adjusted admissions rose 3.6% in the quarter and 2.8% for the six months. Community owns or operates 72 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro