LifePoint eyes new acquisitions as profit rises

Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health is looking to acquire hospitals after a "natural pause" of more than year since buying a new facility, said LifePoint Chairman and CEO Bill Carpenter on a first quarter earnings call with investors April 28.

LifePoint saw its financial picture improve in the first quarter of this year. The for-profit hospital operator recorded net income of $64 million on revenues of $1.63 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up from a net income of $23.9 million on revenues of $1.58 billion in the same period of the year prior. 

The financial boost was attributable to several factors, including an increase in equivalent admission volumes and higher reimbursement rates from commercial payers, said LifePoint Executive Vice President and CFO Mike Coggin during the call with investors.

With its strong financial results in the first quarter, LifePoint is considering taking over additional hospitals.

"We believe we have opportunities for growth in each of our existing markets by adding profitable service lines and recruiting physicians," said Mr. Carpenter during the earnings call. "Additionally, if we identify an acquisition that makes compelling, strategic and financial sense, we have the financial flexibility to take advantage of it and maintain a strong balance sheet." 

Mr. Carpenter said there is a pipeline of hospitals LifePoint is analyzing as potential acquisition targets. The company's strategy is to bring any acquired hospitals from single-digit to double-digit margins within the first three years.

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