William CarpenterThank you. And welcome everyone to LifePoint Hospital’s fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings call. We hope you’ve had a chance to review the press release we issued earlier this morning. After my initial remarks Jeff Sherman, our Chief Financial Officer will discuss in detail LifePoint’s results for the fourth quarter and the full year, as well as our outlook for 2012. After our prepared remarks, Jeff and I, as well as David Dill, our President and Chief Operating Officer will be here to answer your questions. Let me begin by summarizing our results for the fourth quarter. Revenues from continuing operations grew to $781million, up 6.6% from the same period last year. As Jeff will discuss in more detail, we adopted an accounting change that directly impacts the classification of bad debt in our revenue line. Absent this change, we would have recorded revenues from continuing operations of $916 million. EBIDTA for the quarter was $130 million, up 4.6% over last year and EPS for the quarter was $0.78, up 11.4% over last year. For the year, revenues from continuing operations were up 7.4%, compared to 2010, EBIDTA was up 7.2% over the prior year and EPS was up 10.7% over the same period. In 2011, our strong balance sheet and cash flows, as well as our ample liquidity allowed us to make strategic investments to grow organically and through acquisitions. In addition, we repurchased $169 million of common stock in the year. We continued to develop significant resources to acquisitions, service line development and position recruiting. In the fourth quarter, admissions from continuing operations were up 1.4% and adjusted admissions were up 3.4% versus 2010. In addition to the solid financial results we achieved in 2011, there are other key accomplishments I would like to mention briefly. In 2011, we improved our core measure inpatient satisfaction results. We successfully integrated new acquisitions into the company and we launched the LifePoint Learning Academy, designed to train and develop leaders within our company especially leaders at the hospitals.
We were recently awarded one of 26 Hospital Engagement Network contracts from CMS. We’re one of the four systems and the only investor-owned company to have been awarded a HEN contract. We believe that CMS recognizes the value LifePoint brings to this, based on our expertise of providing healthcare and enroll settings. We will focus on taking best practices primarily developed in large urban hospitals and customizing them to fit the needs of smaller non-urban hospitals.The goal of this work is to partner with our physicians to improve patient safety and reduce harm. We are excited about this opportunity and hope that our work will ultimately benefit rural hospitals all across the country. This is what our mission is all about, making communities healthier. A key component of our strategy going forward is developing stronger relationships with our physicians to help optimize clinical outcomes and enhance our mutual success. To the end we are adding structure to our physician engagement effort that will improve communications with our physicians and lead to quicker resolution of day-to-day issues. In addition, we’re developing and piloting Shared Savings Programs with different physician groups aimed at taking waste and duplication out of the system. While it’s too early to discuss any results, the reaction has been positive. Acquisitions were also in a row to our success in 2011 and will be a key driver of growth going forward. Clark Regional and HighPoint Health System are performing well and on plan. We believe we are well-positioned to capture incremental market share with the opening of the Clark’s new state-of-the-art facility, which is planned for the second quarter of 2012. Another element of our acquisition strategy is forming innovative partnerships. In the first quarter, we announced the formation of Duke LifePoint Healthcare and we hit the ground running. This is truly an innovative collaboration that is gaining momentum. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com