More than $2.1B in bailout funds go to CHS, Tenet, HCA and UHS

Four major for-profit hospitals operators received more than $2.1 billion from the $175 billion in emergency relief funds Congress allocated to hospitals and other healthcare providers to help cover lost revenue and expenses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Community Health Systems, HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare and Universal Health Services disclosed the grants during their first quarter earnings calls and recent business updates to shareholders. Each company also received Medicare advance payments to help offset the financial impact of COVID-19. The advance payments are loans that must be repaid, while the grants do not require repayment. 

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare has received $1 billion in grants made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to Reuters. An HCA spokesperson recently told The New York Times that the funds didn't cover its expected lost revenue and higher expenses due to the pandemic. HCA is the largest for-profit hospital chain, operating 184 hospitals across the U.S. 

Tenet Healthcare, a 65-hospital chain based in Dallas, has received about $689 million in federal grants to help offset financial losses caused by the pandemic. The company told The New York Times in May that the pandemic has suppressed its net income. In a June 16 presentation, Tenet said patient volumes are beginning to recover, but they're not yet at pre-pandemic levels. 

In its first-quarter earnings release, Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems said it had received $245 million in CARES Act grants. During CHS' earnings call on April 29, Executive Vice President and CFO Kevin Hammons said the company has ample liquidity to get through the COVID-19 crisis due to the CARES Act grants, proceeds from hospital divestitures, current cash on hand and additional borrowing capacity under its asset-based loan. CHS operates 67 hospitals in 17 states. 

King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services reported $195 million in CARES Act grants during its earnings call in late April. Executive Vice President and CFO Steve Filton said those funds were from the first two tranches of CARES Act funding. UHS operates 26 hospitals and 331 behavioral health facilities. 

More articles on healthcare finance:
Financial fallout from COVID-19: 10 hospitals laying off workers
Illinois health system furloughs 460 workers
10 latest hospital credit rating downgrades

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