Admissions rebounded for Community Health Systems in the second quarter, the 84-hospital system reported Wednesday.
Adjusted admissions increased 28.5% on a same-store basis for the quarter ended June 30, compared with the prior-year period when the COVID-19 pandemic halted non-urgent procedures. But its 248,000 adjusted admissions on the quarter were still down 22% from its 303,000 adjusted admissions in the second quarter of 2019, as CHS operated 23 fewer hospitals over the two-year span. Its adjusted admissions on a same-store basis were relatively even in 2021 compared to 2019, executives said on an earnings call.
CHS reported a net income attributable to shareholders of $6 million on operating revenue of $3 billion on the quarter, down from a net income attributable to shareholders of $70 million on operating revenue of $2.52 billion from the same quarter in 2020.
"As COVID-19 cases declined during the second quarter, we experienced a solid rebound of non-COVID-19 patient volume," CHS CEO Tim Hingtgen said on the call, adding that they have attracted new patients as well as retained previous patients.
CHS plans to integrate about 30% more employed doctors in the third quarter, similar to other large health systems that are hiring more physicians.
The health system treated around 9,500 inpatient COVID-19 patients during the first quarter and about 3,000 during the second quarter. Still, CHS and other large systems saw more acute patients, many of whom were commercially insured, which boosted margins through stretches of the pandemic.
Net revenues per adjusted admission were up about 10% in 2021 compared to 2019, CHS Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hammons said during the call. While CHS expects to treat more lower-acuity patients and more Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries during the second half of the year, the company expects to maintain similar levels of net revenues per adjusted admission, he said.
"We have invested in higher acuity service lines and added services that might offset that downward (revenue) pressure as we continue to grow," Hammons said.
CHS has divested five hospitals so far this year, in addition to the 13 it sold last year. Its network of 84 hospitals is fewer than half its total of 197 at the end of 2014. Its beds in service decreased by more than 14% from the second quarter of 2021 to the same period last year.
CHS' second-quarter operating revenue beat Wall Street's estimates by $60 million. It has received $712 million in HHS COVID-19 relief funds as of June 30.