Tower Health's new hospitals close to break-even

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center is among the hospitals Tower Health bought from Community Health Systems Inc. on Oct. 1.

The five hospitals Tower Health acquired on Oct. 1 from Community Health Systems Inc. for $418 million came close to breaking even in the quarter ended Dec. 31, Tower reported Tuesday.

Brandywine Hospital, Chestnut Hill Hospital, Jennersville Regional Hospital, Phoenixville Hospital, and Pottstown Memorial Medical Center had an operating loss of $40,892 on revenue of $155.2 million — compared to an operating loss of $17 million in the 12 months ended June 30, when they were still owned by Community Health.

Some of the improvement would have come from the fact that the nonprofit Tower is tax-exempt, while Community Health is a for-profit corporation, but details on that shift were not available.

Overall in the six months ended Dec. 31, Tower had an operating loss of $1.7 million, including $12.7 million in one-time expenses related to the sale of The Highlands of Wyomissing, a Berks County continuing-care retirement community, and the acquisition of the five hospitals.

Tower, anchored by Reading Hospital in West Reading, doubled its bed count from 758 to 1,531 with the acquisition of the Community Health facilities. Tower’s revenue in the six months ended Dec. 31 climbed to $729 million from $520 million in the same period a year ago.

A key part of Tower’s strategy to become what it called an “integrated provider/payer system” through a joint venture with UPMC Health Plan to sell health insurance in nine eastern Pennsylvania counties, excluding Philadelphia.