CHS records $199M net loss, says divestiture spree is over

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems posted a net loss of $199 million in the first quarter after recording net income of $11 million in the same period of the year prior.

CHS said revenues dipped to $4.49 billion in the first quarter of this year, down from $4.99 billion in the same period of 2016. The decrease in revenue was attributable, in part, to lower patient volume. On a same-facility basis, admissions were down 1.5 percent in the first quarter of this year. When adjusted for outpatient activity, admissions decreased 1.4 percent year over year.

Although CHS kept operating expenses in check in the first quarter, one-time charges took a toll on the company's bottom line. CHS said its first-quarter financial results included $250 million in impairment charges and losses related to the sale of some of its hospitals.

Commenting on the company's financial results, CHS Chairman and CEO Wayne T. Smith said, "We are focused on performance improvements that we believe will yield additional efficiencies as we move through 2017. At the same time, we are making progress with our portfolio rationalization strategy as we work to create a stronger, more sustainable company for the future and further reduce our debt."

To improve its finances and reduce its nearly $15 billion debt load, CHS put a turnaround plan into place last year. As part of the plan, the company is selling off 30 hospitals, which includes 11 hospitals it divested this week. Twelve other transactions are under definitive agreement and seven are under letter of intent, Mr. Smith said on a first quarter earnings call Tuesday. 

"We're about finished with our divestiture process, this 30 just about lines it up," said Mr. Smith. "There may be one or two more, but we are not specifically thinking about doing anything significant for the rest of the year." 

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