By MATT BLOIS
The Brentwood based hospital chain Quorum Health reported a multimillion dollar loss for 2018, but continues work to reduce costs and slim its hospital portfolio.
On Tuesday, the company reported a net loss of $200 million in 2018, compared to a $114 million loss in 2017.
In the last several months of 2018, the company had a smaller loss than the same period the previous year. Net operating revenues fell from about $2 billion in 2017 to $1.9 billion in 2018.
The company plans to sell off hospitals, refinance its debt and lower costs to stop the losses. Last year, the company sold three hospitals. Quorum CEO Robert Fish said the company has seen some interest from buyers in other hospitals, but added that the process is slow.
“Our progress on moving letters of intent to definitive sales agreements has been slower than we would like,” Fish said on a conference call.
The company reported that it has a definitive agreement to sell another hospital in Texas, and it is hoping to sell at least eight others. The company expects that hospital sales will generate $125 million to $175 million in proceeds by the end of 2019.
Once the company sells all the hospitals it plans on selling, the company will have a portfolio of 18 to 20 rural and non-urban hospitals, according to Fish. The company currently has 27 hospitals, including one that will be sold later this year.
Executives from the company didn’t want to say how many potential buyers have expressed interest in Quorum hospitals because those expressions of initial interest don’t always pan out.
While Quorum’s hospital management business is losing money, Fish said the consulting arm of the company is more profitable. Fish said the company plans to invest in that area, calling it a pillar of the company’s long-term growth.
“We’re also devoting significant time and energy to our hospital management advisory and consulting business, Quorum Health Resources,” he said. “While a small segment of our overall company, QHR generates significantly higher margins than our hospital business.”
It also reported that it expects net operating revenues for existing facilities to be about the same in 2019 as they were in 2018.