Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the RehabCare Third Quarter Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded.Thank you and good morning everybody. Welcome to the conference call to discuss RehabCare's third quarter 2007 earnings. With us today from management are John Short, chief executive officer of RehabCare Group and other members of the senior management team.Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that this conference call contains forward looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This conference call contains forward looking statements that are made pursue in the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of '95.Forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. These risks and uncertainties may include but are not limited to our ability to consummate acquisitions and other partnering relationships at reasonable evaluations.Our ability to integrate acquisitions in partnering relationships within the expected time frames and to achieve the revenue cost savings and earnings level from such acquisitions and relationships at or above the levels projected. Our ability to comply with the terms of our borrowing agreements changes in governmental reimbursement rates and other regulations or policies affecting reimbursement rates or policies provided by clients to other patients.The operational, administrative and financial effect of our compliance with other governmental regulations and applicable licensing and certification requirements. Competitive and regulatory effects on pricing and margins, our ability to effectively respond to fluctuations in our census levels and number of patient visits.The adequacy and effectiveness of our information systems, natural disasters and other unaccepted events, which could severely damage or interrupt our systems and operations. Changes in federal and state income tax laws and regulations, the effectiveness of our tax planning strategies and the sustainability of our tax positions.In general and economic conditions including efforts by governmental reimbursement programs, insurers, healthcare providers and others to contain healthcare costs. With these introductory comments out of the way, I would like to turn the call over to Dr. Short. Please go ahead.Thank you, Gordon. Good morning and thank you for joining us today and Happy Halloween. I'm John Short, president and CEO of the company. I'm joined my by executive management team and Jay Shreiner our CFO. All of us will be available during the question and answer period following our formal remarks.On balance, we are pleased with the development of our business on the third quarter. We saw yet another period of sequential improvement in our contract therapy operating margins, which began in the latter part of the first quarter and has been sustained in the second and third quarters.Within HRS, we also saw improvement in both our inpatient and outpatient operating margins despite continued declines in the number of units and declines in the 75% rule impact discharges. In our freestanding hospital segment, we experienced growing pains during the quarter as performance was impacted by start up costs, increases in estimated contractual adjustments at one facility and a shift in pair mix at another.Overall, we achieved operating earnings of $8.2 million for the quarter or $0.22 per diluted share. These are the highest operating earnings in EPS totals in the last eight quarters. I'll give you some highlights of the quarter as they pertain to our operating results. Beginning with contract therapy.We're extremely proud of the progress that our contract therapy business has made in the past 15 months. Integrating and acquired business that significantly expanded our number of clinicians, operating revenues and facilities. Operating earnings improved $2.1 million sequentially to $3.2 million.The cumulative improvement in quarterly operating earnings for the past six months was nearly $5.4 million. The divisions operating margin for the third quarter stands at 3.2%, which reflects significant progress towards our goal of 4.5% to 5.5% operating margins during 2008.While we remain focused on improving our CT margins, we are turning our attention to stabilizing and growing our number of CT locations and expect to return to net additions in our contract therapy portfolio beginning in 2008.Moving on to hospital rehabilitation services, we continue to successfully manage our staff utilization and operating expenses, which enabled us to achieve the 270 basis points sequential improvement in the division's operating margin, as operating earnings increased $5.4 million to $6.3 million in the third quarter, despite lower revenue quarter to quarter. For outpatient business saw continued improvement in operations to support these results.In the third quarter, our same store 75% rule qualifying admissions increased by 1.1% compare to the second quarter of 2007 while total same store admissions declined by 1% sequentially. Same store admissions year to date ending third quarter versus the same time period of 2006 include a 13.1% increase in non Medicare volume.On average, our units are currently operating at a 64.9% compliance level with 41 units having entered their 65% compliance level on July 1st. We expect to be fully compliant in all of our areas by the end of their special 65% compliance periods. We have increased our focus to support the hospital rehabilitation services business to a number of initiatives.First, at the beginning of the second quarter, we rolled out a new initiative in collaboration with Gallup hoping to improve the process for selection and training of new field managers in HRS. To date, it is resulted in hiring of 15 new program managers. Operating results from the units managed by Gallup's selected candidates have showed significant improvement in revenue and contribution over the prior six month performance.Secondly, early testing of new products is underway. Our first short stay rehab unit has met our performance expectations and offers an alternative for patients that are negatively impacted by the 75% rule in certain markets. In addition, we're also testing a more comprehensive service offering that includes nursing, case management, coding, denials and LTACH management.Thirdly, in late September, we signed a new three year agreement with Premier Inc. Premier is the largest healthcare provider alliance in the country with over 1,700 hospitals plus thousands (inaudible) other healthcare providers.In addition, we renewed our relationship with VHA, which represents over 1,200 hospitals for an additional three years. Both of these relationships will give us a new or expanded Chanel to introduce our current and future product offerings. Our freestanding hospital division saw operating revenue and earnings decline sequentially for the third quarter compared to the second quarter of 2007.Several adjustments in both quarters significantly masked normalized operating performance. However, in addition to these adjustments, the division experienced lower revenues in earnings due to case management challenges and isolated pair mix issues as well as start up costs at its Austin, Texas joint venture in the amount of $700,000.Last quarter, I discussed steps that we had taken to turn around one of our hospitals, which is underperformed in the second quarter. We took aggressive action by changing management, rebuilding referral relationships, right sizing the staff and more closely monitoring expected reimbursement.This hospital has responded very well to these actions and has significantly improved its operations during the third quarter. Rehab hospitals within the division, which the company managed through an average 75% rule compliance level of 63.7% during the quarter are expected to be fully compliant at the end of their respective compliance.
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