Community Health Systems’ profits soar while operating income drops


Community Health Systems more than doubled its profits in the fourth quarter,  but high labor costs and inflation continued to pressure its results.

The Franklin, Tennessee-based for-profit system on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $414 million, or $3.18 per share, compared with $178 million, or $1.34 per share, a year ago. The results included a $180 million gain from early debt extinguishment and $119 million from HealthTrust Purchasing Group’s sale of CoreTrust Holdings, which closed on Oct. 1. Community Health Systems is a noncontrolling partner in HealthTrust. 

Quarterly operating income fell more than 46% to $228 million. Expenses rose 3.7% to $2.91 billion. Costs for salaries and benefits were up 1.5%. Net operating revenue declined 2.8% to $3.14 billion.

In a news release, CEO Tim Hingtgen said the system had cut its use of contract labor from its peak in early 2022.

Community Health Systems, which has 79 affiliated hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites, continues to cut costs by adjusting its physical footprint. Last year, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hammons said the company was in “advanced discussions” about divestitures. In January, it agreed to sell its last hospital in West Virginia to Vandalia Health System.

For the full year, Community Health Systems reported net income of $46 million, or 35 cents per share, compared with $230 million, or $1.76 per share, in 2021. Revenue declined 1.3% to $12.21 billion, and expenses rose 3.9% to $11.39 billion.

Also this week, Community Health Systems disclosed a data breach potentially compromising personal and health information of about 1 million patients. The company does not believe its information systems were affected but said an investigation is ongoing. 


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