Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., said a weak flu season and last years Leap Day account for 80% of the 4.9% decline in same-facility admissions for the first quarter of 2009 compared with the year-ago quarter. Despite the loss of volume, factors such as higher patient acuity, reimbursement increases and expense control led to higher operating income, although net income declined slightly. Community recorded net income of $58.9 million for the quarter compared with $60.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 7.6% to $2.89 billion.
Accounting for other one-time effects, such as the closure of unprofitable services at some hospitals, the company would have reported a same-facility admissions decline of just 0.2%, said Larry Cash, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Community. Same-facility adjusted admissions declined 2.4%. Surgeries, thanks especially to strong outpatient surgery growth, increased 2%, Cash said.
Community said that it paid down some of its bank debt with the net proceeds of its $100 million sale of an 80% interest in 208-bed Presbyterian Hospital of Denton (Texas) to that joint ventures former minority shareholder, Texas Health Resources, Arlington.