Speaker outlines benefits of Community Health Systems
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
The Houston County Hospital District Board of Directors last week heard is first presentation by a hospital provider interested in the county hospital lease. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, Kenneth King, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Community Health Systems (CHS), addressed the board. CHS is one of the hospital providers that responded to the board's Request for Proposals (RFP) for the county hospital lease that is up for renewal in 2015. In October, the board sent letters to each RFP respondent inviting them to make a presentation to the board. After positioning himself where he could address both the board and the audience, King identified CHS as an operator of acute care hospitals that is based in Franklin, TN., a suburb of Nashville, TN. King also said he is a Texas native and that he was born, baptized, raised, educated and married in Fort Worth. "My roots run fairly deep right here in Texas," he said. In describing the history of the company, King explained Community Health Systems was founded in 1985 in Houston. "Like most companies that start up," he explained, "it was originally backed with private equity and venture capital money. Our largest private equity backer was a group named Forstmann Little." In 1996, he said, Forstmann Little hired Wayne Smith to be CEO and president of CHS. Smith still is the CEO and president of the company. To give the board some perspective about how CHS has grown, King said that when Smith came on board, "We were 35 hospitals and approximately $600 million in net revenue. Today we're 135 hospitals and $13 billion in net revenue." Also, immediately after Smith was hired, in 1997, King said, the company went public. The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It trades under CYH. Commenting on the company's transparency, King said they follow all Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and regulations regarding the exchange of information, including the provision of quarterly reports. Anytime anything significant happens within the company, a disclosure is made, King said. The company's website, www.chs.net, contains a lot of very useful information, King said. On the website, viewers can see all the company's SEC filings, biographies of all of the CHS management team, a map showing the location of all its hospitals and some of their investor presentations. "Across the company, we have about 16,000 medical staff members, we have about 90,000 employees and we treat about 700,000 inpatient admissions every year in our hospitals," King said. "So our company accounts for roughly two percent of the inpatient admissions in this country."