How Hurricane Florence may affect CHS, Tenet, HCA and LifePoint

Hurricane Florence could be a boon for companies that specialize in disaster-related services, but the storm could temporarily hurt for-profit hospital operators' stock prices, according to Bloomberg.

Hospitals and health systems in the hurricane's projected path are prepping for what could be catastrophic damage. However, barring unusual circumstances, Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut expects the storm to only temporarily affect healthcare organizations and their stock prices.

"Healthcare facilities in the projected path of Hurricane Florence will likely see a short-term dip in volumes as patients and physicians reschedule elective procedures, office visits and lab tests," he told Bloomberg.

Stocks in Mr. Tanquilut's coverage with exposure to the hurricane include Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems and Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health.

Analysts say LifePoint has the largest exposure to the storm, with 30 percent of its beds in North Carolina and South Carolina in the projected path of Florence, according to CNBC.

"We have several hospitals in North Carolina, South Carolina and surrounding states that may potentially be impacted by the storm," a LifePoint spokesperson told CNBC. "Each of these hospitals is operating under its disaster protocol and is in close contact with its Emergency Management Association and other state and local authorities. LifePoint Health's priority in preparing for Hurricane Florence's landfall is ensuring the safety of our patients, employees and communities."

Nineteen percent of CHS' acute care beds are in the storm's potential path, followed by HCA with 9 percent, according to CNBC, which cited a research report from Evercore ISI care analyst Michael Newshel.

Of the major for-profit hospital operators, Tenet has the lowest overall exposure to the hurricane. However, a large storm surge along the coastline would negatively affect the system, as it has four hospitals within 25 miles of the coastline, according to CNBC.

More articles on healthcare finance:

12 hospitals with strong finances
Cash-strapped California hospital to close ER Sept. 16
Illinois hospital closes: 4 things to know

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