Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., attributed part of its 7% decline in admissions for the third quarter to clinicians reacting to the lawsuit Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, filed against Community in April. Tenet's allegations were one of five reasons the company cited for the admissions decline, which compares the third quarters of 2011 and 2010 on a same-facility basis.
Late News: Community Health Systems cites five reasons for admissions drop
About 1.5 percentage points of the decline, or more than a fifth, is explained by the reduction in one-day admissions through the emergency room, according to Community. Tenet's lawsuit, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Dallas, alleges that Community's admissions criteria improperly boost admissions for cases that should be outpatient observation visits.
The lawsuit, related litigation and government investigations cost the company $6.1 million in the quarter, before taxes. The largest factor in the admissions decline, at 1.6 percentage points, was the shift of surgical cases from inpatient to outpatient. Other factors include weather, service closures, fewer flu and obstetric cases and increased competition from neighboring facilities. Despite the big drop in admissions, Community reported a small increase in profits for the quarter, with net income of $74.3 million vs. $70.4 million in net income for the third quarter of 2011.
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