Community Health Systems is in the process of unloading 30 hospitals and discussed plans Wednesday for another round of sell-offs. The announcement comes as the Franklin-based company is trying to climb out from under a mountain of debt.
Downsizing wasn't the plan for CHS, which in 2013 had grown even larger than industry giant HCA. But on a quarterly earnings call, CEO Wayne Smith told analysts that selling the hospitals is meant to shed facilities that haven't been very profitable.
"We're excited about the opportunity," he said. "We're not that far off from turning the corner on all this."
But for now, earnings are down and projections were lowered even further as hospitals are seeing fewer patients.
CHS won't say how many more hospitals it plans to give up beyond the 30 this year, but it hopes to make another $1.5 billion to pay down debts.
It's also unclear how the smaller portfolio will affect the CHS headquarters in Cool Springs, though executives say they will need to "right-size" corporate departments for the shrinking size of the company.