The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 19, 2021 1:00 am

Lutheran parent in black

Community Health reports $511 million profit for '20

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Lutheran Health Network's parent company posted a $511 million profit last year, ending several years of losses that totaled billions of dollars.

Community Health Systems Inc.'s 2020 earnings were a $1.19 billion improvement from the $675 million loss reported for 2019. Diluted earnings per share were $4.39 for last year, compared with a loss of $5.93 for 2019.

The Franklin, Tennessee-based health care provider also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $311 million, or $2.57 a share, a $684 million improvement from the $373 million loss, or $3.27 a share, reported for the prior year's fourth quarter. 

Community Health paid off more than $1.1 billion in debt last year and refinanced other borrowing to extend due dates, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hammons said Thursday during a conference call with analysts. As of Dec. 31, the company had $12.1 billion in long-term debt.

Community Health also sold off 13 hospitals during the year, ending with 89. 

“Our management teams have adapted to constantly changing dynamics and effectively executed our cost management efforts,” CEO Tim Hingtgen said in a statement. “As a result, we ended the year with strong financial results, momentum around our key strategic initiatives and optimism about the future of our company. We look forward to what lies ahead, as we believe we are well-positioned for growth and long-term success that will deliver value for all of our stakeholders.”

Hingtgen succeeded Wayne Smith as CEO on Jan. 1. Smith, who is now the company's executive chairman, retains some strategic and other executive management responsibilities, according to an Oct. 27 news release.

Community Health doesn't break out financial performance of individual hospitals. Lutheran Health Network comprises eight hospitals, including Lutheran and Dupont hospitals in Fort Wayne. The network also includes numerous clinics and physician offices.

The company is in the midst of building Lutheran Downtown Hospital, a $120 million, five-story building expected to be completed late this year and open for patients in early 2022. The 188,000-square-foot hospital, which will replace St. Joseph Hospital, will have 60 inpatient beds with room to grow to 100 through expansion.

At a glance

Community Health Systems Inc. disclosed the following 2020 statistics in its earnings release and quarterly conference call with analysts:

Providers conducted more than 500,000 telehealth visits.More than 25,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted to CHS-owned hospitals.Of those, more than 14,000 coronavirus patients were admitted during the fourth quarter.

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