Hospitals in the US generally operate pretty efficiently. There is some variation, but mainly the determinants of a hospital's profitability depend on two factors - their ability to take in patients (dictated by population growth in their area, the state of the local economy, etc), and how much they get paid for treating those patients by insurance companies and the US government. As an acute care hospital provider, LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ:LPNT) is in exactly this situation.
LifePoint operates general acute care hospitals, in rural and suburban communities with growing populations. While the firm and industry as a whole should do well in the very long run thanks to an aging US population, LPNT is struggling in the short-run...
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