Owner of 3 Ch­ester County hos­pi­tals ex­plor­ing ‘al­ter­na­tives’

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems says it is early in a re­view process

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Donna Rovins drovins@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­cBiz on Twit­ter

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems Inc., which owns three Ch­ester County hos­pi­tals and the nearby Pottstown Me­mo­rial Med­i­cal Cen­ter, is re­port­edly “ex­plor­ing a va­ri­ety of op­tions” for its fu­ture.

Fol­low­ing a Bloomberg News re­port Fri­day that the Ten­nessee-based for-profit health care firm might be plac­ing it­self up for sale, the owner of Brandy­wine, Jen­nersville Re­gional and Phoenixville hos­pi­tals is­sued a state­ment Mon­day con­firm­ing dis­cus­sions are un­der way with fi­nan­cial spon­sors.

“The dis­cus­sions are at a very pre­lim­i­nary stage and there is no time­line es­tab­lished for this re­view,” Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems said in a news re­lease. “There can be no cer­tainty that the ex­plo­ration will re­sult in any kind of trans­ac­tion.”

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems is one of the largest pub­licly traded hos­pi­tal com­pa­nies in the U.S. The com­pany owns, leases or op­er­ates 158 af­fil­i­ated hos­pi­tals in 22 states with nearly 27,000 li­censed beds.

“Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems’ pri­mary fo­cus con­tin­ues to be on de­liv­er­ing high-qual­ity health ser­vices in the com­mu­ni­ties where we op­er­ate,” said Wayne T. Smith, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems in the press re­lease. “Our man­age­ment team is com­pletely com­mit­ted to ef­forts that ad­vance clin­i­cal ex­cel­lence, op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance and growth strate­gies that will ben­e­fit our or­ga­ni­za­tion and the cus­tomers we serve.”

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems spokes­woman Tomi Galin de­clined to com­ment how the lo­cal hos­pi­tals would be af­fected “be­yond what is in the press re­lease.”

In April, the com­pany com­pleted the spin-off of Quo­rum Health Cor­po­ra­tion, com­prised of 38 af­fil­i­ated hos­pi­tals and out­pa­tient ser­vices in

16 states. In Au­gust, the com­pany is­sued its sec­ond quar­ter re­sults, post­ing a net loss of $1.43 bil­lion.

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems Inc., which trades as CYH on the New York Stock Ex­change, opened Wed­nes­day at $10.06, clos­ing the day at $10.17. The stock’s 52-week high, ac­cord­ing to Nas­daq was $40.91 while its 52week low was $9.67.

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems ac­quired PMMC in 2003 for $80 mil­lion and Phoenixville Hos­pi­tal in 2004 for $100.8 mil­lion. The cor­po­ra­tion also owns Chest­nut Hill Hos­pi­tal in Philadel­phia, Brandy­wine Hos­pi­tal in Caln and Jen­nersville Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in West Grove. A to­tal of 17 Penn­syl­va­nia hos­pi­tals are owned by Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems.

BRIAN MCCUL­LOUGH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Brandy­wine Hos­pi­tal is one of the Penn­syl­va­nia hos­pi­tals owned by Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems, which has con­firmed it is in dis­cus­sions with fi­nan­cial spon­sors to con­sider al­ter­na­tives, which re­port­edly may in­clude putting it­self up for sale.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Phoenixville Hos­pi­tal is one of the Penn­syl­va­nia hos­pi­tals owned by Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems, which has con­firmed it is in dis­cus­sions with fi­nan­cial spon­sors to con­sider al­ter­na­tives, which re­port­edly may in­clude putting it­self up for sale.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Jen­nersville Hos­pi­tal is one of the Penn­syl­va­nia hos­pi­tals owned by Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems, which has con­firmed it is in dis­cus­sions with fi­nan­cial spon­sors to con­sider al­ter­na­tives, which re­port­edly may in­clude putting it­self up for sale.

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