Chesterton Tribune



Porter hospital owner eyeing possible sale as stock price plummets

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The for-profit owner of Porter Regional Hospital--and of two other Northwest Indiana hospitals as well--is considering a sale as one possible response to significant financial losses and a plummeting stock price.

Community Health Systems (CHS) of Franklin, Tenn.--which acquired Porter hospital in 2007--announced, in a statement released on Monday, Sept. 19, that the company is right now “exploring a variety of options with financial sponsors, as well as other potential advisors.

“The discussions are at a very preliminary stage and there is no timeline established for this review,” the statement added. “There can be no certainty that the exploration will result in any kind of transaction. The company does not expect to make further public comment regarding these matters while the exploration process takes place.”

The company’s purchase of Porter Hospital nine years ago was one in a series of aggressive acquisitions which saw its total holdings grow from 122 hospitals with an aggregate of 18,000 licensed beds in 2010 to 196 hospitals with 30,000 licensed beds in January 2016, including IU Health LaPorte Hospital in LaPorte and IU Health Starke Hospital in Knox.

Amid declining earnings, however--CHS reported a net loss of $1.432 billion or $12.91 per share in the second quarter of 2016--the company divested itself of 38 hospitals in April, accounting for more than 3,500 beds, by spinning off an independent public company named Quorum Health Corporation.

CHS was trading at around $10.32 per share this morning, well under its best price ever--over $60 per share--about a year ago.

Porter Regional Health, IU Health LaPorte, and IU Health Starke released the following joint statement to the Chesterton Tribune today: “LaPorte, Porter Regional, and Starke hospitals are focused on operating local hospitals that improve the health of our patients and communities. Our full attention has and always will be on providing safe, high-quality care for our patients, and meeting the pressing community health needs before us. Operationally, we are focused on strategic planning for growth across the system, and supporting the clinical excellence and development of healthcare providers and colleagues who take care of our community.”



Posted 9/26/2016







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