LifePoint posts earn­ings gain de­spite drop in ad­mis­sions

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Dave Barkholz

LifePoint Health posted a siz­able earn­ings gain in the sec­ond quar­ter de­spite feel­ing the hurt, like other hos­pi­tal chains, of de­clin­ing ad­mis­sions, emer­gency room vis­its and surg­eries.

The 72-hos­pi­tal com­pany last week re­ported net in­come of $46 mil­lion on rev­enue of $1.6 bil­lion com­pared with net in­come of $20.1 mil­lion on rev­enue of $1.6 bil­lion in the year-ear­lier quar­ter.

Brent­wood, Tenn.-based LifePoint was aided by tight cost con­trols and fa­vor­able com­pa­ra­bles with the year-ear­lier pe­riod, when the chain suf­fered about $15 mil­lion in costs from the de­par­ture of key doc­tors at its Mar­quette, Mich., hos­pi­tal.

LifePoint joined HCA, Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems and Uni­ver­sal Health Ser­vices in re­duc­ing its earn­ings guid­ance for the rest of 2017, largely on less-than-ex­pected rev­enue. In the sec­ond quar­ter, LifePoint saw ad­mis­sions fall 3% year-over-year, in­pa­tient surg­eries drop 8%, out­pa­tient surg­eries 3.5% and emer­gency room vis­its 3%. The sil­ver lin­ing in the lat­ter statis­tic was that half of the de­cline in ER vis­its was from fewer un­com­pen­sated-care cases.

In an earn­ings call, LifePoint CEO Bill Car­pen­ter said some of the vol­ume chal­lenges, es­pe­cially in larger mar­kets, may be the re­sult of in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from physi­cians and am­bu­la­tory surgery cen­ters.

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