Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., told stock analysts that physician recruitment and better emergency room management in facilities formerly owned by Triad Hospitals will fuel Communitys growth even as the economy slows.
Executives discussed the companys prospects after releasing its third-quarter results. Community reported net income of $50.4 million, compared with profits of $10.5 million in 2007s third quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $2.77 billion, up 23.4% compared with the year-ago quarter. Same-facility admissions were up 2.3% and adjusted admissions were up 2.5%, again comparing the quarters.
Community also published its expectations for 2009, and they reflect the weakening economy. Comparing the following figures to 2008, the company expects slower growth in admissions (1% to 2%) and revenue (5% to 6%) and projects a lower range for capital expenditures ($700 million to $750 million). Still, Communitys hospitals continue to take advantage of the opportunities from the Triad and other recent acquisitions by recruiting more physicians and revamping emergency department operations. Community expects to recruit 1,200 physicians in 2008 and has a goal of 1,300 in 2009, said Wayne Smith, president, chairman and chief executive officer.
The impact of the weakening economy has been modest so far and has been spread pretty evenly around the 29 states in which Communitys 118 hospitals are located, Smith said. Were getting pretty consistent growth around the country, Smith said. We dont have any really particularly big pockets where the economy is affecting us. -- by Vince Galloro
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