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As divestiture plan continues, CHS forecasts $137 million net loss for Q2

Company has been on downward financial slope for months, cites dropping patient admissions as cause.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

As Franklin, Tennessee-based Community Health System forges ahead with its efforts to eliminate its onerous debt load by divesting 30 hospitals, the system forecasted it will post a net loss of $137 million for the second quarter 2017. That amounts to $1.22 per diluted share.

Net operating revenue dropped from $4.59 billion in Q2 2016 to $4.14 billion for the three-month period ending June 30, 2017, CHS said in a statement, and they expect an operating loss of $131 million.

Total admissions were down roughly 11 percent in Q2 2017 compared to the same period last year. Same-store admissions data also showed a drop, with forecasted numbers showing a  2.5 percent decrease over Q2 2016.

"The lower than anticipated results were primarily caused by lower than expected volume and the resulting lower net operating revenues. The results were also impacted by increases in medical specialist fees, purchased services and information systems expense," CHS said.

[Also: CHS sells Florida's Highlands Regional Medical Center to HCA as part of planned divestitures]

CHS has completed nine hospital sales over the last month, bringing its total completed divestitures to 20. The organization expects to close deals for the remaining 10 hospitals in its 30-hospital plan by September 30, 2017, CHS said, and there could be more.

"The Company continues to receive interest from acquirers for certain of its hospitals. The Company is pursuing this interest for sale transactions involving hospitals with a combined total of at least $1.5 billion in annual net revenue and combined mid-single digit Adjusted EBITDA margins."

Final figures are expected to be released August 1 with a live earnings call the next day.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn

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