Shares of Community Health Systems are set for a big up day after the hospital operator reported second-quarter results buoyed by federal aid dollars.

Franklin-based CHS posted a net profit of $93 million in the three months ended June 30, reversing a year-earlier loss of $146 million. The company’s net operating revenues fell to $2.52 billion from $3.30 billion — CHS owns 10 fewer hospitals than it did a year ago — and were down 18 percent on a same-store basis as the COVID-19 pandemic hurt patient volumes. Operating expenses fell as well and were also helped by $448 million in pandemic relief funds, without which operating losses would have totaled $152 million.

“I am proud of our hospital leadership teams and the corporate support teams that have demonstrated agility and resilience under pressure and leveraged all of the resources of our organization to support their community response as well as one another,” Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith said in a statement. “We will continue to adapt to this evolving situation with a steadfast commitment to provide the best possible response to this public health crisis, while at the same time focusing on long-term growth for all of the company’s stakeholders.”

CHS collected more than $560 million in payments through the federal government’s Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund during the quarter as well as about $1.2 billion in accelerated Medicare payments to improve its liquidity. The company is not required to repay money from the emergency fund — from which it has received another $109 million this month — but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will later this year begin withholding future payments to recoup the $1.2 billion.

CHS shares (Ticker: CYH) were up more than 17 percent to $4.84 in pre-market trading Wednesday after climbing 4.6 percent Tuesday. The stock last changed hands above $5 in early March.

This post originally appeared in our sister publication, the Nashville Post

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