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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

 

OR

 

    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from                     to                     

 

Commission File No. 1-9321

 

UNIVERSAL HEALTH REALTY INCOME TRUST

 

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Maryland

23-6858580

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

 

Universal Corporate Center

367 South Gulph Road

P.O. Box 61558

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

19406-0958

(Zip Code)

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (610265-0688

 

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

 

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value

 

UHT

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

Yes      No  

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

 

Yes      No  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

Yes      No  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

 

Yes      No  

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

  

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

  

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act) Yes      No  

 

Aggregate market value of voting shares and non-voting shares held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2019: $1.1 billion (For the purpose of this calculation only, all members of the Board of Trustees are deemed to be affiliates). Number of shares of beneficial interest outstanding of registrant as of January 31, 2020: 13,757,503.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after December 31, 2019 (incorporated by reference under Part III).

 

 

 

 

 

 


UNIVERSAL HEALTH REALTY INCOME TRUST

2019 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I

Item 1

Business

1

Item 1A

Risk Factors

8

Item 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

19

Item 2

Properties

20

Item 3

Legal Proceedings

27

Item 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

27

 

PART II

Item 5

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

27

Item 6

Selected Financial Data

29

Item 7

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

31

Item 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

46

Item 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

48

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

48

Item 9A

Controls and Procedures

48

Item 9B

Other Information

51

 

PART III

Item 10

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

51

Item 11

Executive Compensation

51

Item 12

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

51

Item 13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

51

Item 14

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

51

 

PART IV

Item 15

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules  

52

 

 

Item 16       Form 10-K Summary

54

SIGNATURES

55

 

 

 

 

 


This Annual Report on Form 10-K is for the year ended December 31, 2019. This Annual Report modifies and supersedes documents filed prior to this Annual Report. Information that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in the future will automatically update and supersede information contained in this Annual Report. In this Annual Report, “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Trust” refer to Universal Health Realty Income Trust and its subsidiaries.

As disclosed in this Annual Report, including in Part I, Item 1.-Relationship with Universal Health Services, Inc. (“UHS”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of UHS (UHS of Delaware, Inc.) serves as our Advisor pursuant to the terms of an annually renewable Advisory Agreement dated December 24, 1986, and as amended and restated as of January 1, 2019.  Our officers are all employees of UHS through its wholly-owned subsidiary, UHS of Delaware, Inc. In addition, three of our hospital facilities are leased to subsidiaries of UHS, and subsidiaries of UHS are tenants of seventeen medical office buildings or free-standing emergency departments, that are either wholly or jointly-owned by us (excluding new construction). Any reference to “UHS” or “UHS facilities” in this report is referring to Universal Health Services, Inc.’s subsidiaries, including UHS of Delaware, Inc.

In this Annual Report, the term “revenues” does not include the revenues of the unconsolidated limited liability companies in which we have various non-controlling equity interests ranging from 33% to 95%. As of December 31, 2019, we had investments in five jointly-owned LLCs/LPs (including one currently under construction which is scheduled to be completed in late 2020). We currently account for our share of the income/loss from these investments by the equity method (see Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included herein).

 

 

 

 


PART I

ITEM  1.

Business

General

We are a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) which commenced operations in 1986. We invest in health care and human service related facilities currently including acute care hospitals, behavioral health care hospitals, specialty hospitals, medical office buildings (“MOBs”), free-standing emergency departments and childcare centers. As of February 26, 2020, we have seventy-one real estate investments located in twenty states in the United States consisting of: (i) seven hospital facilities including three acute care, one behavioral health care (currently under construction) and three specialty hospitals (two of which are currently vacant); (ii) fifty-six medical/office buildings; (iii) four free-standing emergency departments (“FEDs”), and; (iv) four preschool and childcare centers.

Available Information

We have our principal executive offices at Universal Corporate Center, 367 South Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. Our telephone number is (610) 265-0688. Our website is located at http://www.uhrit.com. Copies of the annual, quarterly and current reports we file with the SEC, and any amendments to those reports, are available free of charge on our website.  Our filings are also available to the public at the website maintained by the SEC, www.sec.gov.  Additionally, we have adopted governance guidelines, a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics applicable to all of our officers and directors, a Code of Ethics for Senior Officers and charters for each of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees. These documents are also available free of charge on our website. Copies of such reports and charters are available in print to any shareholder who makes a request. Such requests should be made to our Secretary at our King of Prussia, PA corporate headquarters. We intend to satisfy the disclosure requirement under Item 5.05 of Form 8-K relating to amendments to or waivers of any provision of our Code of Ethics for Senior Officers by promptly posting this information on our website. The information posted on our website is not incorporated into this Annual Report.

In accordance with Section 303A.12(a) of The New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Manual, we submitted our CEO’s Certification to the New York Stock Exchange in 2019. Additionally, contained in Exhibits 31.1 and 31.2 of this Annual Report are our CEO’s and CFO’s certifications regarding the quality of our public disclosure under Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

 

1


Overview of Facilities

As of February 26, 2020, we have investments in seventy-one facilities (two of which are under construction), located in twenty states and consisting of the following:

 

Facility Name

 

Location

 

Type of Facility

 

Ownership

 

 

Guarantor

 

Southwest Healthcare System, Inland Valley Campus (A)

 

Wildomar, CA

 

Acute Care

 

100%

 

 

Universal Health Services, Inc.

 

McAllen Medical Center (A)

 

McAllen, TX

 

Acute Care

 

100%

 

 

Universal Health Services, Inc.

 

Wellington Regional Medical Center (A)

 

W. Palm Beach, FL

 

Acute Care

 

100%

 

 

Universal Health Services, Inc.

 

Kindred Hospital Chicago Central (B)

 

Chicago, IL

 

Sub-Acute Care

 

100%

 

 

Kindred Healthcare, Inc.

 

Corpus Christi, TX (F)

 

Corpus Christi, TX

 

Sub-Acute Care

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Evansville  Rehabilitation Hospital, LLC (G)

 

Evansville, IN

 

Rehabilitation

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Family Doctor’s Medical Office Bldg. (B)

 

Shreveport, LA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

Christus Health Northern Louisiana

 

Professional Buildings at Kings Crossing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Building A (B)

 

Kingwood, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

     Building B (B)

 

Kingwood, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Chesterbrook Academy (B)

 

Audubon, PA

 

Preschool & Childcare

 

100%

 

 

SEG, Incorporated

 

Chesterbrook Academy (B)

 

New Britain, PA

 

Preschool & Childcare

 

100%

 

 

SEG, Incorporated

 

Chesterbrook Academy (B)

 

Newtown, PA

 

Preschool & Childcare

 

100%

 

 

SEG, Incorporated

 

Chesterbrook Academy (B)

 

Uwchlan, PA

 

Preschool & Childcare

 

100%

 

 

SEG, Incorporated

 

Southern Crescent Center I (B)

 

Riverdale, GA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Southern Crescent Center, II (D)

 

Riverdale, GA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

St. Matthews Medical Plaza II (C)

 

Louisville, KY

 

MOB

 

33%

 

 

 

 

Desert Valley Medical Center (E)

 

Phoenix, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Cypresswood Professional Center (B)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8101

 

Spring, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

8111

 

Spring, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Desert Springs Medical Plaza (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

701 South Tonopah Bldg. (A)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Santa Fe Professional Plaza (E)

 

Scottsdale, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Summerlin Hospital MOB I (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Summerlin Hospital MOB II (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Danbury Medical Plaza (B)

 

Danbury, CT

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Mid Coast Hospital MOB (C)

 

Brunswick, ME

 

MOB

 

74%

 

 

 

 

Rosenberg Children’s Medical Plaza (E)

 

Phoenix, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Gold Shadow (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

700 Shadow Lane MOB

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

2010 & 2020 Goldring MOBs

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Apache Junction Medical Plaza (E)

 

Apache Junction, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Spring Valley Medical Office Building (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Spring Valley Hospital Medical Office Building II (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Sierra San Antonio Medical Plaza (E)

 

Fontana, CA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Phoenix Children’s East Valley Care Center (E)

 

Phoenix, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Centennial Hills Medical Office Building (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Palmdale Medical Plaza (D)

 

Palmdale, CA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Summerlin Hospital Medical Office Building III (D)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Vista Medical Terrace (D)

 

Sparks, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

The Sparks Medical Building (D)

 

Sparks, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Auburn Medical Office Building II (E)

 

Auburn, WA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Texoma Medical Plaza (H)

 

Denison, TX

 

MOB

 

95%

 

 

 

 

BRB Medical Office Building (E)

 

Kingwood, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

3811 E. Bell (E)

 

Phoenix, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Lake Pointe Medical Arts Building (E)

 

Rowlett, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Forney Medical Plaza (E)

 

Forney, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Tuscan Professional Building (E)

 

Irving, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Emory at Dunwoody Building (E)

 

Atlanta, GA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

PeaceHealth Medical Clinic (E)

 

Bellingham, WA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Forney Medical Plaza II (C)

 

Forney, TX

 

MOB

 

95%

 

 

 

 

Northwest Texas Professional Office Tower (E)

 

Amarillo, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

5004 Poole Road MOB (A)

 

Denison, TX

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Ward Eagle Office Village (E)

 

Farmington Hills, MI

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

The Children’s Clinic at Springdale (E)

 

Springdale, AR

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

The Northwest Medical Center at Sugar Creek (E)

 

Bentonville, AR

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Hanover Emergency Center (E)

 

Mechanicsville, VA

 

FED

 

100%

 

 

 

 

South Texas ER at Weslaco (A)

 

Weslaco, TX

 

FED

 

100%

 

 

 

 

South Texas ER at Mission (A)

 

Mission, TX

 

FED

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Haas Medical Office Park (E)

 

Ottumwa, IA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

Regional Hospital Partners

 

Piedmont - Roswell Physician Center (E)

 

Sandy Springs, GA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Piedmont - Vinings Physician Center (E)

 

Vinings, GA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Madison Professional Office Building (E)

 

Madison, AL

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Chandler Corporate Center III (E)

 

Chandler, AZ

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Frederick Crestwood MOB (E)

 

Frederick, MD

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

2704 North Tenaya Way (E)

 

Las Vegas, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

 

2


Henderson Medical Plaza (D)

 

Henderson, NV

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Health Center at Hamburg (E)

 

Hamburg, PA

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Las Palmas Del Sol Emegency Center-West (E)

 

El Paso, TX

 

FED

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Beaumont Medical Sleep Center Building (E)

 

Southfield, MI

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Bellin Health Family Medicine Center  (E) (I)

 

Escanaba, MI

 

MOB

 

100%

 

 

 

 

Clive Behavioral Health Hospital (D) (J)

 

Clive, IA

 

Behavioral Health

 

100%

 

 

Universal Health Services, Inc. and Catholic Health Initiatives-Iowa, Corp.

 

Texoma Medical Plaza II (K)

 

Denison, TX

 

MOB

 

95%

 

 

 

 

 

(A)

Real estate assets owned by us and leased to subsidiaries of Universal Health Services, Inc. (“UHS”).

(B)

Real estate assets owned by us and leased to an unaffiliated third-party or parties.

(C)

Real estate assets owned by a limited liability company (“LLC”) or a limited partnership (“LP”) in which we have a non-controlling ownership interests and include tenants who are unaffiliated third-parties.

(D)

Real estate assets owned by us or an LLC in which we hold 100% ownership interests and include tenants who are subsidiaries of UHS.

(E)

Real estate assets owned by us or an LLC in which we hold 100% ownership interests and include tenants who are unaffiliated third-parties.

(F)

The lease on this facility expired on June 1, 2019. The hospital is vacant and being marketed for a new tenant.

(G)

The lease on this facility expired on May 31, 2019.  The tenant entered into a short-term lease which expired on September 30, 2019. The hospital is vacant and being marketed for a new tenant.    

(H)

Real estate assets owned by an LLC or an LP in which we have a noncontrolling ownership interest and include tenants who are subsidiaries of UHS.

(I)

This property was acquired during the fourth quarter of 2019.

(J)

This property is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in late 2020.  This property is leased to a joint venture between UHS and Catholic Health Initiatives-Iowa, Corp.  

(K)

This property is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in late 2020.  

Other Information

Included in our portfolio at December 31, 2019 and 2018 are six hospital facilities with an aggregate investment of $130.4 million. The leases with respect to the six hospital facilities (two of which expired during 2019) comprised approximately 26%, 25% and 26% of our consolidated revenues in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.  The leases on two hospital facilities expired during 2019 and were not renewed. The combined revenues generated from these leases comprised approximately 2% of our consolidated revenues during each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.  One of the tenants entered into a short-term lease with us (which expired on September 30, 2019) at a substantially increased lease rate as compared to the original lease rate.

As of January 1, 2020, leases on four of our six hospital facilities (two of which are currently vacant) have fixed terms with an average of 3.25 years remaining and include renewal options ranging from zero to two, five-year terms. The remaining lease terms for each hospital facility, which vary by hospital, are included herein in Item 2. Properties. The tenants in two of our hospital facilities had provided notice to us that they did not intend to renew the leases upon the scheduled expiration of the respective facilities.  The combined revenues generated from the leases on these two hospital facilities comprised approximately 2% of our consolidated revenues during each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.  The leases on these two hospital facilities, located in Evansville, Indiana and Corpus Christi, Texas, expired on May 31, 2019 and June 1, 2019, respectively. The Evansville, Indiana hospital tenant entered into a short-term lease with us (which expired on September 30, 2019) at a substantially increased lease rate as compared to the original lease rate. See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Hospital Leases, for additional disclosure in connection with these two hospital facilities.

We believe a facility’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and lease rental expense (“EBITDAR”) and a facility’s EBITDAR divided by the sum of minimum rent plus additional rent payable to us (“Coverage Ratio”), which are non-GAAP financial measures, are helpful to us and our investors as a measure of the operating performance of a hospital facility. EBITDAR, which is used as an indicator of a facility’s estimated cash flow generated from operations (before rent expense, capital additions and debt service), is used by us in evaluating a facility’s financial viability and its ability to pay rent. For the four occupied hospital facilities owned by us at the end of 2019, the combined weighted average Coverage Ratio was approximately 8.7 (ranging from -1.6 to 20.9). For the six hospital facilities owned by us at the end of each respective year, the combined weighted average Coverage Ratio was approximately 7.0 (ranging from -0.7 to 17.1) during 2018 and 7.5 (ranging from -0.8 to 18.0) during 2017. The Coverage Ratio for individual facilities varies.

Pursuant to the terms of the leases for our hospital facilities, free-standing emergency departments, some single-tenant MOBs and the preschool and childcare centers, each lessee, including subsidiaries of UHS, is responsible for building operations, maintenance, renovations and property insurance. We, or the LLCs in which we have invested, are responsible for the building operations, maintenance and renovations of the remaining MOBs, however, a portion, or in some cases all, of the expenses associated with the MOBs are passed on directly to the tenants. Cash reserves may be established to fund required building maintenance and renovations at the multi-tenant MOBs. Lessees are required to maintain all risk, replacement cost and commercial property insurance policies on the leased properties and we, or the LLC in which we have invested, are also named insureds on these policies. In addition, we, UHS or the LLCs in which we have invested, maintain property insurance on all properties. For additional information on the terms of our leases, see “Relationship with Universal Health Services, Inc.”

 

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See our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report for our total assets, liabilities, debt, revenues, income and other operating information.

Relationship with Universal Health Services, Inc. (“UHS”)  

Leases:    We commenced operations in 1986 by purchasing properties from certain subsidiaries of UHS and immediately leasing the properties back to the respective subsidiaries. Most of the leases were entered into at the time we commenced operations and provided for initial terms of 13 to 15 years with up to six additional 5-year renewal terms. The current base rentals and lease and renewal terms for each of the three hospital facilities leased to subsidiaries of UHS are provided below. The base rents are paid monthly and each lease also provides for additional or bonus rents which are computed and paid on a quarterly basis based upon a computation that compares current quarter revenue to a corresponding quarter in the base year. The three hospital leases with subsidiaries of UHS are unconditionally guaranteed by UHS and are cross-defaulted with one another.

The combined revenues generated from the leases on the UHS hospital facilities accounted for approximately 23% of our consolidated revenue for the five years ended December 31, 2019 (approximately 22%, 21% and 22% for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 respectively). In addition, we have seventeen MOBs, or free-standing emergency departments (“FEDs”), that are either wholly or jointly-owned by us (excluding new construction), that include tenants which are subsidiaries of UHS.  The aggregate revenues generated from UHS-related tenants comprised approximately 32% of our consolidated revenue for the five years ended December 31, 2019 (approximately 31%, 30% and 32% for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively).

Pursuant to the Master Lease Document by and among us and certain subsidiaries of UHS, dated December 24, 1986 (the “Master Lease”), which governs the leases of all hospital properties with subsidiaries of UHS, UHS has the option to renew the leases at the lease terms described below by providing notice to us at least 90 days prior to the termination of the then current term. UHS also has the right to purchase the respective leased facilities at the end of the lease terms or any renewal terms at the appraised fair market value. In addition, the Master Lease, as amended during 2006, includes a change of control provision whereby UHS has the right, upon one month’s notice should a change of control of the Trust occur, to purchase any or all of the three leased hospital properties listed below at their appraised fair market value. Additionally, UHS has rights of first refusal to: (i) purchase the respective leased facilities during and for 180 days after the lease terms at the same price, terms and conditions of any third-party offer, or; (ii) renew the lease on the respective leased facility at the end of, and for 180 days after, the lease term at the same terms and conditions pursuant to any third-party offer.  

The table below details the existing lease terms and renewal options for our three acute care hospitals operated by wholly-owned subsidiaries of UHS:    

Hospital Name

 

Annual

Minimum

Rent

 

 

End of

Lease Term

 

Renewal

Term

(years)

 

McAllen Medical Center

 

$

5,485,000

 

 

December, 2026

 

5

(a)

Wellington Regional Medical Center

 

$

3,030,000

 

 

December, 2021

 

10

(b)

Southwest Healthcare System, Inland Valley Campus

 

$

2,648,000

 

 

December, 2021

 

10

(b)

 

(a)

UHS has one 5-year renewal option at existing lease rates (through 2031).

(b)

UHS has two 5-year renewal options at fair market value lease rates (2022 through 2031).

Management cannot predict whether the leases with subsidiaries of UHS, which have renewal options at existing lease rates or fair market value lease rates, or any of our other leases, will be renewed at the end of their lease term. If the leases are not renewed at their current rates or the fair market value lease rates, we would be required to find other operators for those facilities and/or enter into leases on terms potentially less favorable to us than the current leases. In addition, if subsidiaries of UHS exercise their options to purchase the respective leased hospital or FED facilities upon expiration of the lease terms, our future revenues could decrease if we were unable to earn a favorable rate of return on the sale proceeds received, as compared to the rental revenue currently earned pursuant to these leases.  

We are the lessee on eleven ground leases with subsidiaries of UHS (for consolidated and unconsolidated investments).  The remaining lease terms on the ground leases with subsidiaries of UHS range from approximately 30 years to approximately 79 years.  The annual aggregate lease payments on these properties are approximately $480,000 for the year ended 2019 and $483,000 for each of the years ended 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, and an aggregate of $27.7 million thereafter.  Please see Note 4 for further disclosure around our adoption of ASC 842.

 

4


In late July, 2019 and September, 2019 we entered into two separate agreements which are each related to wholly-owned subsidiaries of UHS in connection with newly constructed properties located in Clive, Iowa and Denison, Texas.  Please see additional disclosure in Note 3.

Officers and Employees:    Our officers are all employees of a wholly-owned subsidiary of UHS and although as of December 31, 2019 we had no salaried employees, our officers do typically receive annual stock-based compensation awards in the form of restricted stock. In special circumstances, if warranted and deemed appropriate by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees, our officers may also receive one-time compensation awards in the form of restricted stock and/or cash bonuses.

Advisory Agreement:    UHS of Delaware, Inc. (the “Advisor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of UHS, serves as Advisor to us under an advisory agreement dated December 24, 1986, and as amended and restated as of January 1, 2019 (the “Advisory Agreement”). Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor is obligated to present an investment program to us, to use its best efforts to obtain investments suitable for such program (although it is not obligated to present any particular investment opportunity to us), to provide administrative services to us and to conduct our day-to-day affairs. All transactions between us and UHS must be approved by the Trustees who are unaffiliated with UHS (the “Independent Trustees”). In performing its services under the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor may utilize independent professional services, including accounting, legal, tax and other services, for which the Advisor is reimbursed directly by us. The Advisory Agreement may be terminated for any reason upon sixty days written notice by us or the Advisor. The Advisory Agreement expires on December 31 of each year; however, it is renewable by us, subject to a determination by the Independent Trustees, that the Advisor’s performance has been satisfactory.

Pursuant to the terms of the original advisory agreement, which was in effect from inception through December 31, 2018, in addition to the advisory fee as discussed below, the Advisor was entitled to an annual incentive fee equal to 20% of the amount by which cash available for distribution to shareholders for each year, as defined in the agreement, exceeded 15% of our equity as shown on our consolidated balance sheet, determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles without reduction for return of capital dividends. Cash available for distribution to shareholders was defined as net cash flow from operations less deductions for, among other things, amounts required to discharge our debt and liabilities and reserves for replacement and capital improvements to our properties and investments. Since the incentive fee requirements were not achieved at any time from our inception through December 31, 2018, no incentive fees were paid during that time. Given that the incentive fee requirements have never been achieved, and were deemed unlikely to be achieved in the future, the amended and restated advisory agreement that became effective on January 1, 2019, among other things, eliminated the incentive fee provision.  

Our advisory fee for 2019, 2018 and 2017 was computed at 0.70% of our average invested real estate assets, as derived from our consolidated balance sheet.  Based upon a review of our advisory fee and other general and administrative expenses, as compared to an industry peer group, the advisory fee computation remained unchanged for 2019, as compared to the last three years. The average real estate assets for advisory fee calculation purposes exclude certain items from our consolidated balance sheet such as, among other things, accumulated depreciation, cash and cash equivalents, lease receivables, deferred charges and other assets. The advisory fee is payable quarterly, subject to adjustment at year-end based upon our audited financial statements. Advisory fees incurred and paid (or payable) to UHS amounted to $4.0 million during 2019, $3.8 million during 2018 and $3.6 million during 2017 and were based upon average invested real estate assets of $568 million, $544 million and $511 million during 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Share Ownership:    As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, UHS owned 5.7% of our outstanding shares of beneficial interest.

SEC reporting requirements of UHS:    UHS is subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and is required to file annual reports containing audited financial information and quarterly reports containing unaudited financial information. Since the aggregate revenues generated from UHS-related tenants comprised approximately 32% of our consolidated revenue for the five years ended December 31, 2019 (approximately 31%, 30% and 32% for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively), and since a subsidiary of UHS is our Advisor, you are encouraged to obtain the publicly available filings for Universal Health Services, Inc. from the SEC’s website. These filings are the sole responsibility of UHS and are not incorporated by reference herein.  Please see the heading “A substantial portion of our revenues are dependent upon one operator. If UHS experiences financial difficulties, or otherwise fails to make payments to us, or elects not to renew the leases on our three acute care hospitals, our revenues could be materially reduced” under “Risk Factors” for more information.

Taxation

No provision has been made for federal income tax purposes since we qualify as a REIT under Sections 856 to 860 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and intend to continue to remain so qualified. To qualify as a REIT, we must meet certain organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement to distribute at least 90% of our annual REIT taxable income to shareholders. As a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal, state or local income tax on income that we distribute as dividends to our shareholders.

 

5


Please see the heading “If we fail to maintain our REIT status, we will become subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates” under “Risk Factors” for more information.

Competition

We compete for the acquisition, leasing and financing of health care related facilities. Our competitors include, but are not limited to, other REITs, private investors and firms, banks and other companies, including UHS. Some of these competitors are larger and may have a lower cost of capital than we do. These developments could result in fewer investment opportunities for us and lower spreads over the cost of our capital, which would hurt our growth.

In most geographical areas in which our facilities operate, there are other facilities that provide services comparable to those offered by our facilities. In addition, some competing facilities are owned by tax-supported governmental agencies or by nonprofit corporations and may be supported by endowments and charitable contributions and exempt from property, sales and income taxes. Such exemptions and support are not available to certain operators of our facilities, including UHS. In some markets, certain competing facilities may have greater financial resources, be better equipped and offer a broader range of services than those available at our facilities. Certain hospitals that are located in the areas served by our facilities are specialty hospitals that provide medical, surgical and behavioral health services that may not be provided by the operators of our hospitals. The increase in outpatient treatment and diagnostic facilities, ambulatory surgical centers and freestanding emergency departments also increases competition for us.

In addition, the number and quality of the physicians on a hospital’s staff are important factors in determining a hospital’s success and competitive advantage. Typically, physicians are responsible for making hospital admission decisions and for directing the course of patient treatment. The operators of our facilities also compete with other health care providers in recruiting and retaining qualified hospital management, nurses and other medical personnel. From time-to-time, the operators of our acute care hospitals may experience the effects of a shortage of skilled nursing staff nationwide, which has caused and may continue to cause an increase in salaries, wages and benefits expense in excess of the inflation rate. Our operators may experience difficulties attracting and retaining qualified physicians, nurses and medical support personnel. We anticipate that our operators, including UHS, will continue to encounter increased competition in the future that could lead to a decline in patient volumes and harm their businesses, which in turn, could harm our business.

A large portion of our non-hospital properties consist of MOBs which are located either close to or on the campuses of hospital facilities. These properties are either directly or indirectly affected by the factors discussed above as well as general real estate factors such as the supply and demand of office space and market rental rates. To improve our competitive position, we anticipate that we will continue investing in additional healthcare related facilities and leasing the facilities to qualified operators, perhaps including subsidiaries of UHS.

Regulation and Other Factors

During 2019, 2018 and 2017, 25%, 24% and 25%, respectively, of our revenues were earned pursuant to leases with operators of acute care services hospitals and free-standing emergency departments (“FEDs”), the majority of which are subsidiaries of UHS. A significant portion of the revenue earned by the operators of our acute care hospitals and FEDs is derived from federal and state healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid (excluding managed Medicare and Medicaid programs).

Our acute care facilities derive a significant portion of their revenue from third-party payors, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Changes in these government programs in recent years have resulted in limitations on reimbursement and, in some cases, reduced levels of reimbursement for healthcare services. Payments from federal and state government programs are subject to statutory and regulatory changes, administrative rulings, interpretations and determinations, requirements for utilization review, and federal and state funding restrictions, all of which could materially increase or decrease program payments, as well as affect the cost of providing service to patients and the timing of payments to facilities. Neither we nor the operators of our hospital facilities are able to predict the effect of recent and future policy changes on our respective results of operations. In addition, the uncertainty and fiscal pressures placed upon federal and state governments as a result of, among other things, the funding requirements and other provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”), may affect the availability of taxpayer funds for Medicare and Medicaid programs.  In addition, possible repeal or replacement of the ACA may have significant impact on the reimbursement for healthcare services.

On December 14, 2018, a Texas Federal District Court deemed the ACA to be unconstitutional in its entirety. The Court concluded that the Individual Mandate is no longer permissible under Congress’s taxing power as a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”) reducing the Individual Mandate’s tax to $0 (i.e., it no longer produces revenue, which is an essential feature of a tax), rendering the ACA unconstitutional.  The court also held that because the individual mandate is “essential” to the ACA and is inseverable from the rest of the law, the entire ACA is unconstitutional. Because the court issued a declaratory judgment and did not enjoin the law, the ACA remains in place pending its appeal.  The District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruling was

 

6


appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On December 18, 2019, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel voted 2-1 to strike down the ACA individual mandate as unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit Court also sent the case back to the Texas district court to determine which ACA provisions should be stricken with the mandate. It is likely this matter will ultimately be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. These rulings have caused greater uncertainty regarding the future status of the ACA. If all or any parts of the ACA are found to be unconstitutional, it could have a material adverse effect on hospitals.  If the rates paid or the scope of services covered by government payors are reduced, there could be a material adverse effect on the business, financial position and results of operations of the operators of our hospital facilities, and in turn, ours.

In addition, the healthcare industry is required to comply with extensive and complex laws and regulations at the federal, state and local government levels relating to, among other things: hospital billing practices and prices for services; relationships with physicians and other referral sources; adequacy of medical care and quality of medical equipment and services; ownership of facilities; qualifications of medical and support personnel; confidentiality, maintenance, privacy and security issues associated with health-related information and patient medical records; the screening, stabilization and transfer, by hospitals with an emergency department, of patients who have emergency medical conditions; certification, licensure and accreditation of our facilities; operating policies and procedures, and; construction or expansion of facilities and services.

These laws and regulations are extremely complex, and, in many cases, the operators of our facilities do not have the benefit of regulatory or judicial interpretation. In the future, it is possible that different interpretations or enforcement of these laws and regulations could subject the current or past practices of our operators to allegations of impropriety or illegality or could require them to make changes in their facilities, equipment, personnel, services, capital expenditure programs and operating expenses. Although UHS and other operators of our hospitals and FEDs believe that their policies, procedures and practices comply with governmental regulations, no assurance can be given that they will not be subjected to additional governmental inquiries or actions, or that they would not be faced with sanctions, fines or penalties if so subjected. Even if they were to ultimately prevail, a significant governmental inquiry or action under one of the above laws, regulations or rules could have a material adverse effect upon them, and in turn, us.

Each of our hospital facilities is deemed certified, meaning that they are accredited, properly licensed under the relevant state laws and regulations and certified under the Medicare program. The effect of maintaining certified facilities is to allow such facilities to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The operators of our hospital facilities believe that the facilities are in material compliance with applicable federal, state, local and other relevant regulations and standards. However, should any of our hospital facilities lose their deemed certified status and thereby lose certification under the Medicare or Medicaid programs, such facilities would be unable to receive reimbursement from either of those programs and their business, and in turn, ours, could be materially adversely affected.

The various factors and government regulation related to the healthcare industry, such as those outlined above, affect us because:

(i)

The financial ability of lessees to make rent payments to us may be affected by governmental regulations such as licensure, certification for participation in government programs, and government reimbursement, and;

(ii)

Our bonus rents on the three acute care hospitals operated by subsidiaries of UHS are based on our lessees’ net revenues which in turn are affected by the amount of reimbursement such lessees receive from the government.

A significant portion of the revenue earned by the operators of our acute care hospitals and FEDs is derived from federal and state healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Under the statutory framework of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, many of the general acute care operations are subject to administrative rulings, interpretations and discretion that may affect payments made under either or both of such programs as well as by other third party payors. The federal government makes payments to participating hospitals under its Medicare program based on various formulas. For inpatient services, the operators of our acute care hospitals are subject to an inpatient prospective payment system (“IPPS”). Under IPPS, hospitals are paid a predetermined fixed payment amount for each hospital discharge. The fixed payment amount is based upon each patient’s Medicare severity diagnosis related group (“MS-DRG”). Every MS-DRG is assigned a payment rate based upon the estimated intensity of hospital resources necessary to treat the average patient with that particular diagnosis. These rates are based upon historical national average costs and do not consider the actual costs incurred by a hospital in providing care. The MS-DRG rates are adjusted annually based on geographic region and are weighted based upon a statistically normal distribution of severity.

For outpatient services, acute care hospitals are paid under an outpatient prospective payment system (“PPS”) according to ambulatory procedure codes. The outpatient PPS rate is a geographic adjusted national payment amount that includes the Medicare payment and the beneficiary co-payment. Special payments under the outpatient PPS may be made for certain new technology items and services through transitional pass-through payments and special reimbursement rates.

 

7


Our three acute care hospitals and two FEDs operated by subsidiaries of UHS, as well as two FEDs and one sub-acute care hospital facility operated by unaffiliated third-parties are located in Texas, Florida, California, Virginia and Illinois. The majority of these states have reported significant budget deficits that have resulted in reductions of Medicaid funding at various times during the last few years and which could adversely affect future levels of Medicaid reimbursement received by certain operators of our facilities, including the operators of our hospital facilities. We can provide no assurance that reductions to Medicaid revenues earned by operators of certain of our facilities, particularly our hospital operators in the above-mentioned states, will not have a material adverse effect on the future operating results of those operators which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on us.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

 

Name

 

Age

 

 

Position

Alan B. Miller

 

 

82

 

 

Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President

Charles F. Boyle

 

 

60

 

 

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Cheryl K. Ramagano

 

 

57

 

 

Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary

Timothy J. Fowler

 

 

64

 

 

Vice President, Acquisition and Development

 

Mr. Alan B. Miller has been our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since our inception in 1986 and was appointed President in February, 2003. He had previously served as our President until 1990. Mr. Miller has been Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of UHS since its inception in 1978. He previously held the title of President of UHS as well, until 2009 when Marc D. Miller was elected as President of UHS. He is the father of Marc D. Miller, who was elected to our Board of Trustees in December, 2008 and also serves as President and a member of the Board of Directors of UHS.

Mr. Charles F. Boyle was appointed our Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2003 and had served as our Vice President and Controller since 1991. Mr. Boyle has held various positions at UHS since 1983. He was appointed Senior Vice President of UHS in 2017 and continues to serve as its Controller. He had served as Vice President and Controller of UHS since 2003 and as its Assistant Vice President-Corporate Accounting since 1994.

Ms. Cheryl K. Ramagano was appointed Secretary of the Trust in 2003 and has served as our Vice President and Treasurer since 1992. Ms. Ramagano has held various positions at UHS since 1983. She was appointed Senior Vice President of UHS in 2017 and continues to serve as its Treasurer. She had served as Vice President and Treasurer of UHS since 2003 and as its Assistant Treasurer since 1994.

Mr. Timothy J. Fowler was elected as our Vice President of Acquisition and Development upon the commencement of his employment with UHS in 1993.

ITEM 1A.

Risk Factors

We are subject to numerous known and unknown risks, many of which are described below and elsewhere in this Annual Report. Any of the events described below could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are not aware of, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, could also impact our business and results of operations.

The revenues and results of operations of the tenants of our hospital facilities, including UHS, and our medical office buildings, are significantly affected by payments received from the government and other third party payors.

The operators of our hospital facilities, FEDs and tenants of our medical office buildings derive a significant portion of their revenue from third party payors, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Changes in these government programs in recent years have resulted in limitations on reimbursement and, in some cases, reduced levels of reimbursement for health care services. Payments from federal and state government programs are subject to statutory and regulatory changes, administrative rulings, interpretations and determinations, requirements for utilization review, and federal and state funding restrictions, all of which could materially increase or decrease program payments, as well as affect the cost of providing service to patients and the timing of payments to facilities. Our tenants are unable to predict the effect of recent and future policy changes on their operations.

Our three acute care hospitals and two FEDs operated by subsidiaries of UHS, as well as two FEDs and one sub-acute care hospital facility operated by unaffiliated third-parties are located in Texas, Florida, California, Virginia and Illinois. The majority of these states have reported significant budget deficits that have resulted in reductions of Medicaid funding at various times during the last few years and which could adversely affect future levels of Medicaid reimbursement received by certain operators of our facilities, including the operators of our hospital facilities. We can provide no assurance that reductions to Medicaid revenues earned by operators of certain of our facilities, particularly our hospital operators in the above-mentioned states, will not have a material adverse

 

8


effect on the future operating results of those operators which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, the uncertainty and fiscal pressures placed upon federal and state governments as a result of, among other things, the funding requirements and other provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, may affect the availability of taxpayer funds for Medicare and Medicaid programs. If the rates paid or the scope of services covered by government payors are reduced, there could be a material adverse effect on the business, financial position and results of operations of the operators of our hospital facilities, and in turn, ours.

In addition to changes in government reimbursement programs, the ability of our hospital operators to negotiate favorable contracts with private payors, including managed care organizations, significantly affects the revenues and operating results of those facilities. Private payors, including managed care organizations, increasingly are demanding that hospitals accept lower rates of payment. Our hospital operators expect continued third party efforts to aggressively manage reimbursement levels and cost controls. Reductions in reimbursement amounts received from third party payors could have a material adverse effect on the financial position and results of operations of our hospital operators.

Reductions or changes in Medicare and Medicaid funding could have a material adverse effect on the future operating results of the operators of our facilities, including UHS, which could, in turn, materially reduce our revenues and net income.

On January 3, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “2012 Act”) was signed into law. The 2012 Act postponed for two months sequestration cuts mandated under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The postponed sequestration cuts include a 2% annual reduction over ten years in Medicare spending to providers. Medicaid is exempt from sequestration. In order to offset the cost of the legislation, the 2012 Act reduces payments to other providers totaling almost $26 billion over ten years. Approximately half of those funds will come from reductions in Medicare reimbursement to hospitals. Although the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 has reduced certain sequestration-related budgetary cuts, spending reductions related to the Medicare program remain in place. On December 26, 2013, H.J. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which includes the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 (“the Act”), was signed into law. In addition, on February 15, 2014, Public Law 113-082 was enacted. The 2012 Act and subsequent federal legislation achieves new savings by extending sequestration for mandatory programs – including Medicare – for another three years, through 2027.

The 2012 Act includes a document and coding (“DCI”) adjustment and a reduction in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (“DSH”) payments. Expected to save $10.5 billion over 10 years, the DCI adjustment decreases projected Medicare hospital payments for inpatient and overnight care through a downward adjustment in annual base payment increases. These reductions are meant to recoup what Medicare authorities consider to be “overpayments” to hospitals that occurred as a result of the transition to Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups. The reduction in Medicaid DSH payments was expected to save $4.2 billion over 10 years. This provision extends the changes regarding DSH payments established by the Legislation and determines future allotments off of the rebased level. On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which eliminated the DSH cuts scheduled for 2018 and 2019 but added additional DSH reductions of $4 billion in 2020 and $8 billion a year between 2021 and 2025. We cannot predict the effect this enactment will have on operators (including UHS), and, thus, our business.

The uncertainties of health care reform could materially affect the business and future results of operations of the operators of our facilities, including UHS, which could, in turn, materially reduce our revenues and net income.

On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). The Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the “Reconciliation Act”), which contains a number of amendments to the ACA, was signed into law on March 30, 2010. Two primary goals of the ACA, combined with the Reconciliation Act (collectively referred to as the “Legislation”), are to provide for increased access to coverage for healthcare and to reduce healthcare-related expenses.

Although it was expected that the Legislation would result in a reduction in uninsured patients in the U.S., which would reduce the operators’ of our facilities’ expense from uncollectible accounts receivable, the Legislation made a number of other changes to Medicare and Medicaid which we believe may have an adverse impact on the operators of our facilities. It has been projected that the Legislation will result in a net reduction in Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals totaling $155 billion over 10 years. The Legislation revises reimbursement under the Medicare and Medicaid programs to emphasize the efficient delivery of high quality care and contains a number of incentives and penalties under these programs to achieve these goals. The Legislation provides for decreases in the annual market basket update for federal fiscal years 2010 through 2019, a productivity offset to the market basket update beginning October 1, 2011 for Medicare Part B reimbursable items and services and beginning October 1, 2012 for Medicare inpatient hospital services. The Legislation and subsequent revisions provide for reductions to both Medicare DSH and Medicaid DSH payments. The Medicare DSH reductions began in October, 2013 while Medicaid DSH reimbursements are scheduled to begin in 2020. The Legislation implements a value-based purchasing program, which will reward the delivery of efficient care. Conversely, certain facilities will receive reduced reimbursement for failing to meet quality parameters; such hospitals will include those with excessive readmission or hospital-acquired condition rates.

 

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A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling limited the federal government’s ability to expand health insurance coverage by holding unconstitutional sections of the Legislation that sought to withdraw federal funding for state noncompliance with certain Medicaid coverage requirements. Pursuant to that decision, the federal government may not penalize states that choose not to participate in the Medicaid expansion program by reducing their existing Medicaid funding. Therefore, states can choose to accept or not to participate without risking the loss of federal Medicaid funding. As a result, many states, including Texas, have not expanded their Medicaid programs without the threat of loss of federal funding.  CMS has granted, and is expected to grant additional, section 1115 demonstration waivers providing for work and community engagement requirements for certain Medicaid eligible individuals.  It is anticipated this will lead to reductions in coverage, and likely increases in uncompensated care for the operators of our facilities, in states where these demonstration waivers are granted.  

The various provisions in the Legislation that directly or indirectly affect Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement are scheduled to take effect over a number of years. The impact of the Legislation on healthcare providers will be subject to implementing regulations, interpretive guidance and possible future legislation or legal challenges. Certain Legislation provisions, such as that creating the Medicare Shared Savings Program create uncertainty in how healthcare may be reimbursed by federal programs in the future. Thus, at this time, we cannot predict the impact of the Legislation on the future reimbursement of our hospital operators and we can provide no assurance that the Legislation will not have a material adverse effect on the future results of operations of the tenants/operators of our properties and, thus, our business.

The Legislation also contained provisions aimed at reducing fraud and abuse in healthcare. The Legislation amends several existing laws, including the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act, making it easier for government agencies and private plaintiffs to prevail in lawsuits brought against healthcare providers. While Congress had previously revised the intent requirement of the Anti-Kickback Statute to provide that a person is not required to “have actual knowledge or specific intent to commit a violation of” the Anti-Kickback Statute in order to be found in violation of such law, the Legislation also provides that any claims for items or services that violate the Anti-Kickback Statute are also considered false claims for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act. The Legislation provides that a healthcare provider that retains an overpayment in excess of 60 days is subject to the federal civil False Claims Act, although certain final regulations implementing this statutory requirement remain pending. The Legislation also expands the Recovery Audit Contractor program to Medicaid. These amendments also make it easier for severe fines and penalties to be imposed on healthcare providers that violate applicable laws and regulations.

The impact of the Legislation on hospitals may vary. Because Legislation provisions are effective at various times over the next several years, we anticipate that many of the provisions in the Legislation may be subject to further revision. Initiatives to repeal the Legislation, in whole or in part, to delay elements of implementation or funding, and to offer amendments or supplements to modify its provisions have been persistent.  The ultimate outcomes of legislative attempts to repeal or amend the Legislation and legal challenges to the Legislation are unknown.  Legislation has already been enacted that has eliminated the penalty for failing to maintain  health coverage that was part of the original Legislation. In addition, Congress has considered legislation that would, if enacted, in material part (i) eliminate the large employer mandates to obtain or provide health insurance coverage, respectively; (ii) permit insurers to impose a surcharge up to 30 percent on individuals who go uninsured for more than two months and then purchase coverage; (iii) provide tax credits towards the purchase of health insurance, with a phase-out of tax credits according to income level; (iv) expand health savings accounts; (v) impose a per capita cap on federal funding of state Medicaid programs, or, if elected by a state, transition federal funding to block grants, and; (vi) permit states to seek a waiver of certain federal requirements that would allow such state to define essential health benefits differently from federal standards and that would allow certain commercial health plans to take health status, including pre-existing conditions, into account in setting premiums.  

In addition to legislative changes, the Legislation can be significantly impacted by executive branch actions.  In relevant part, President Trump has already taken executive actions: (i) requiring all federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the Legislation to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waiver, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” parts of the Legislation that place “unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens” on states, individuals or health care providers; (ii) the issuance of a final rule in June, 2018 by the Department of Labor to enable the formation of association health plans that would be exempt from certain Legislation requirements such as the provision of essential health benefits; (iii) the issuance of a final rule in August, 2018 by the Department of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services to expand the availability of short-term, limited duration health insurance, (iv) eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers that would otherwise offset deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for health plan enrollees at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level; (v) relaxing requirements for state innovation waivers that could reduce enrollment in the individual and small group markets and lead to additional enrollment in short-term, limited duration insurance and association health plans; and (vi) the issuance of a proposed rule by the Department of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services that would be incentivize the use of health reimbursement accounts by employers to permit employees to purchase health insurance in the individual market.  The uncertainty resulting from these Executive Branch policies has led to reduced Exchange enrollment in 2018 and 2019 and is expected to further worsen the individual and small group market risk pools in future years.  It is also anticipated that these and future policies may create additional cost and reimbursement pressures on hospitals.  

 

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It remains unclear what portions of the Legislation may remain, or what any replacement or alternative programs may be created by any future legislation.  Any such future repeal or replacement may have significant impact on the reimbursement for healthcare services generally, and may create reimbursement for services competing with the services offered by the operators of our hospitals.  Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the adoption of any future federal or state healthcare reform legislation will not have a negative financial impact on the operators of our hospitals, including their ability to compete with alternative healthcare services funded by such potential legislation, or for the operators of our hospitals to receive payment for services.

On December 14, 2018, a Texas Federal District Court deemed the ACA to be unconstitutional in its entirety. The Court concluded that the Individual Mandate is no longer permissible under Congress’s taxing power as a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”) reducing the Individual Mandate’s tax to $0 (i.e., it no longer produces revenue, which is an essential feature of a tax), rendering the ACA unconstitutional.  The court also held that because the individual mandate is “essential” to the ACA and is inseverable from the rest of the law, the entire ACA is unconstitutional. Because the court issued a declaratory judgment and did not enjoin the law, the ACA remains in place pending its appeal.  The District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruling was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On December 18, 2019, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel voted 2-1 to strike down the ACA individual mandate as unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit Court also sent the case back to the Texas district court to determine which ACA provisions should be stricken with the mandate. It is likely this matter will ultimately be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. These rulings have caused greater uncertainty regarding the future status of the ACA. If all or any parts of the ACA are found to be unconstitutional, it could have a material adverse effect on hospitals.  If the rates paid or the scope of services covered by government payors are reduced, there could be a material adverse effect on the business, financial position and results of operations of the operators of our hospital facilities, and in turn, ours.

 

The trend toward value-based purchasing may negatively impact the revenues of our hospital operators.

 

We believe that value-based purchasing initiatives of both governmental and private payers tying financial incentives to quality and efficiency of care will increasingly affect the results of operations of our hospitals and other healthcare facilities and may negatively impact their revenues if they are unable to meet expected quality standards. The Legislation contains a number of provisions intended to promote value-based purchasing in federal healthcare programs. Medicare now requires providers to report certain quality measures in order to receive full reimbursement increases for inpatient and outpatient procedures that were previously awarded automatically. In addition, hospitals that meet or exceed certain quality performance standards will receive increased reimbursement payments, and hospitals that have “excess readmissions” for specified conditions will receive reduced reimbursement. Furthermore, Medicare no longer pays hospitals additional amounts for the treatment of certain hospital-acquired conditions unless the conditions were present at admission. Beginning in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015, hospitals that rank in the worst 25% of all hospitals nationally for hospital acquired conditions in the previous year will receive reduced Medicare reimbursements. The Legislation also prohibits the use of federal funds under the Medicaid program to reimburse providers for treating certain provider-preventable conditions.

 

There is a trend among private payers toward value-based purchasing of healthcare services, as well. Many large commercial payers require hospitals to report quality data, and several of these payers will not reimburse hospitals for certain preventable adverse events. We expect value-based purchasing programs, including programs that condition reimbursement on patient outcome measures, to become more common and to involve a higher percentage of reimbursement amounts. We are unable at this time to predict how this trend will affect the results of operations of the operators of our hospitals, but it could negatively impact their revenues if they are unable to meet quality standards established by both governmental and private payers.

 

Increased competition in the health care industry has resulted in lower revenues and higher costs for our operators, including UHS, and may affect our revenues, property values and lease renewal terms.

The healthcare industry is highly competitive and competition among hospitals and other health care providers for patients and physicians has intensified in recent years. In most geographical areas in which our facilities are operated, there are other facilities that provide services comparable to those offered by our facilities. In addition, some competing facilities are owned by tax-supported governmental agencies or by nonprofit corporations and may be supported by endowments and charitable contributions and exempt from property, sales and income taxes. Such exemptions and support are not available to certain operators of our facilities, including UHS.

In some markets, certain competing facilities may have greater financial resources, be better equipped and offer a broader range of services than those available at our facilities. Certain hospitals that are located in the areas served by our facilities are specialty hospitals that provide medical, surgical and behavioral health services that may not be provided by the operators of our hospitals. The increase in outpatient treatment and diagnostic facilities, outpatient surgical centers and freestanding ambulatory surgical centers also increases competition for our operators.

 

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In addition, the operators of our facilities face competition from other health care providers, including physician owned facilities and other competing facilities, including certain facilities operated by UHS but the real property of which is not owned by us. Such competition is experienced in markets including, but not limited to, McAllen, Texas, the site of our McAllen Medical Center, a 370-bed acute care hospital, and Riverside County, California, the site of our Southwest Healthcare System-Inland Valley Campus, a 130-bed acute care hospital.

In addition, the number and quality of the physicians on a hospital’s staff are important factors in determining a hospital’s competitive advantage. Typically, physicians are responsible for making hospital admission decisions and for directing the course of patient treatment. Since the operators of our facilities also compete with other health care providers, they may experience difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified hospital management, nurses and other medical personnel.

We anticipate that our operators, including UHS, will continue to encounter increased competition in the future that could lead to a decline in patient volumes and harm their businesses, which in turn, could harm our business.

Operators that fail to comply with governmental reimbursement programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, licensing and certification requirements, fraud and abuse regulations or new legislative developments may be unable to meet their obligations to us.

Our operators, including UHS and its subsidiaries, are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations that are subject to frequent and substantial changes (sometimes applied retroactively) resulting from legislation, adoption of rules and regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations of existing law. The ultimate timing or effect of these changes cannot be predicted. Government regulation may have a dramatic effect on our operators’ costs of doing business and the amount of reimbursement received by both government and other third-party payors. The failure of any of our operators to comply with these laws, requirements and regulations could adversely affect their ability to meet their obligations to us. These regulations include, among other items: hospital billing practices and prices for service; relationships with physicians and other referral sources; adequacy of medical care; quality of medical equipment and services; qualifications of medical and support personnel; the implementation of, and continued compliance with, electronic health records’ regulations; confidentiality, maintenance and security issues associated with health-related information and patient medical records; the screening, stabilization and transfer, by hospitals with an emergency department, of patients who have emergency medical conditions; certification, licensure and accreditation of our facilities; operating policies and procedures, and; construction or expansion of facilities and services.

If our operators fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations, they could be subjected to liabilities, including criminal penalties, civil penalties (including the loss of their licenses to operate one or more facilities), and exclusion of one or more facilities from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid and other federal and state health care programs. The imposition of such penalties could jeopardize that operator’s ability to make lease or mortgage payments to us or to continue operating its facility. In addition, our bonus rents are based on net revenues of the UHS hospital facilities, which in turn are affected by the amount of reimbursement that such lessees receive from the government.

Although UHS and the other operators of our acute care facilities believe that their policies, procedures and practices comply with governmental regulations, no assurance can be given that they will not be subjected to governmental inquiries or actions, or that they would not be faced with sanctions, fines or penalties if so subjected. Because many of these laws and regulations are relatively new, in many cases, our operators don’t have the benefit of regulatory or judicial interpretation. In the future, it is possible that different interpretations or enforcement of these laws and regulations could subject their current or past practices to allegations of impropriety or illegality or could require them to make changes in the facilities, equipment, personnel, services, capital expenditure programs and operating expenses. Even if they were to ultimately prevail, a significant governmental inquiry or action under one of the above laws, regulations or rules could have a material adverse effect upon them, and in turn, us.

A worsening of the economic and employment conditions in the United States could materially affect our business and future results of operations of the operators of our facilities which could, in turn, materially reduce our revenues and net income.

Our future results of operations could be unfavorably impacted by deterioration in general economic conditions which could result in increases in the number of people unemployed and/or uninsured. Our operators’ patient volumes, revenues and financial results depend significantly on the universe of patients with health insurance, which to a large extent is dependent on the employment status of individuals in certain markets. A worsening of economic conditions may result in a higher unemployment rate which will likely increase the number of individuals without health insurance. As a result, the operators of our facilities may experience a decrease in patient volumes. Should that occur, it may result in decreased occupancy rates at our medical office buildings as well as a reduction in the revenues earned by the operators of our hospital facilities which would unfavorably impact our future bonus rentals (on the UHS hospital facilities) and may potentially have a negative impact on the future lease renewal terms and the underlying value of the hospital properties.

 

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U.S. federal tax reform legislation now and in the future could affect REITs, both positively and negatively, in ways that are difficult to anticipate.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “2017 Tax Act”), signed into law on December 22, 2017, made significant changes to corporate and individual tax rates and the calculation of taxes.  While the 2017 Tax Act has not had a significant direct impact on us, it may impact us indirectly as our tenants and the jurisdictions in which we do business as well as the overall investment thesis for REITs may be impacted both positively and negatively. Additionally, the overall impact of the 2017 Tax Act depends on future interpretations and regulations that may be issued by federal tax authorities, as well as changes in state and local taxation in response to the 2017 Tax Act, and it is possible that such future interpretations, regulations and other changes could adversely impact us.

The deterioration of credit and capital markets may adversely affect our access to sources of funding and we cannot be certain of the availability and terms of capital to fund the growth of our business when needed.

To retain our status as a REIT, we are required to distribute 90% of our taxable income to shareholders and, therefore, we generally cannot use income from operations to fund our growth. Accordingly, our growth strategy depends, in part, upon our ability to raise additional capital at reasonable costs to fund new investments. We believe we will be able to raise additional debt and equity capital at reasonable costs to refinance our debts (including third-party debt held by various LLCs in which we own non-controlling equity interests) at or prior to their maturities and to invest at yields which exceed our cost of capital. We can provide no assurance that financing will be available to us on satisfactory terms when needed, which could harm our business. Given these uncertainties, our growth strategy is not assured and may fail.

To fund all or a portion of our future financing needs, we rely on borrowings from various sources including fixed rate, long-term debt as well as borrowings pursuant to our revolving credit agreement. If any of the lenders were unable to fulfill their future commitments, our liquidity could be impacted, which could have a material unfavorable impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, the degree to which we are, or in the future may become, leveraged, our ability to obtain financing could be adversely impacted and could make us more vulnerable to competitive pressures. Our ability to meet existing and future debt obligations depends upon our future performance and our ability to secure additional financing on satisfactory terms, each of which is subject to financial, business and other factors that are beyond our control. Any failure by us to meet our financial obligations would harm our business.

In the event we need to access the capital markets or other sources of financing, there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain financing on acceptable terms or within an acceptable time. Our inability to obtain financing on terms acceptable to us could have a material unfavorable impact on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

The LIBOR calculation method may change and LIBOR is expected to be phased out after 2021.

Our Credit Agreement permits interest on borrowings to be calculated based on LIBOR. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) announced that it will no longer require banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021.  The phase-out of LIBOR may result in the establishment of one or more alternative benchmark rates, but at this time it is uncertain what alternative benchmark rates would replace LIBOR. In the meantime, actions by the FCA, other regulators, or law enforcement agencies may result in changes to the method by which LIBOR is calculated. At this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of any such changes or any other reforms to LIBOR that may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

A substantial portion of our revenues are dependent upon one operator. If UHS experiences financial difficulties, or otherwise fails to make payments to us, or elects not to renew the leases on our three acute care hospitals, our revenues could be materially reduced.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, lease payments from UHS comprised approximately 31% of our consolidated revenues. In addition, as of December 31, 2019, subsidiaries of UHS leased three of the six hospital facilities owned by us with terms expiring in 2021 and 2026. We cannot assure you that UHS will continue to satisfy its obligations to us or renew existing leases upon their scheduled maturity. In addition, if subsidiaries of UHS exercise their options to purchase the respective three leased hospitals, or two leased FEDs, upon expiration of the lease terms, our future revenues could decrease if we were unable to earn a favorable rate of return on the sale proceeds received, as compared to the rental revenue currently earned pursuant to the leases on the facilities. The failure or inability of UHS to satisfy its obligations to us, or should UHS elect not to renew the leases on the three acute care hospitals or two FEDs, our revenues and net income could be materially reduced, which could in turn reduce the amount of dividends we pay and cause our stock price to decline.

 

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Our relationship with UHS may create conflicts of interest.

In addition to being dependent upon UHS for a substantial portion of our revenues and leases, since 1986, UHS of Delaware, Inc. (the “Advisor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of UHS, has served as our Advisor. Pursuant to our Advisory Agreement, as amended and restated effective January 1, 2019, the Advisor is obligated to present an investment program to us, to use its best efforts to obtain investments suitable for such program (although it is not obligated to present any particular investment opportunity to us), to provide administrative services to us and to conduct our day-to-day affairs. Further, all of our officers are employees of the Advisor. As of December 31, 2019, we had no salaried employees although our officers do typically receive annual stock-based compensation awards in the form of restricted stock. In special circumstances, if warranted and deemed appropriate by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees, our officers may also receive one-time compensation awards in the form of restricted stock and/or cash bonuses. We believe that the quality and depth of the management and advisory services provided to us by our Advisor and UHS could not be replicated by contracting with unrelated third parties or by being self-advised without considerable cost increases. We believe that these relationships have been beneficial to us in the past, but we cannot guarantee that they will not become detrimental to us in the future.

All transactions with UHS must be approved by a majority of our Independent Trustees. Because of our historical and continuing relationship with UHS and its subsidiaries, in the future, our business dealings may not be on the same or as favorable terms as we might achieve with a third party with whom we do not have such a relationship. Disputes may arise between us and UHS that we are unable to resolve or the resolution of these disputes may not be as favorable to us as a resolution we might achieve with a third party.

UHS and its subsidiaries, are subject to pending legal actions, purported stockholder class actions, governmental investigations and regulatory actions.

UHS and its subsidiaries are subject to pending legal actions, purported shareholder class actions, governmental investigations and regulatory actions. Since UHS comprised approximately 31%, 30% and 32% of our consolidated revenues for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and since a subsidiary of UHS is our Advisor, you are encouraged to obtain and review the disclosures contained in the Legal Proceedings section of Universal Health Services, Inc.’s Forms 10-K and 10-Q, as publicly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are the sole responsibility of UHS and are not incorporated by reference herein

Defending itself against the allegations in the lawsuits and governmental investigations, or similar matters and any related publicity, could potentially entail significant costs and could require significant attention from UHS management and UHS’ reputation could suffer significantly. UHS has stated that it is unable to predict the outcome of these matters or to reasonably estimate the amount or range of any such loss; however, the outcome of these lawsuits and the related investigations, publicity and news articles that have been published concerning these matters, could have a material adverse effect on their business, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows.

UHS is and may become subject to other loss contingencies, both known and unknown, which may relate to past, present and future facts, events, circumstances and occurrences. Should an unfavorable outcome occur in some or all of the legal proceedings or other loss contingencies, or if successful claims and other actions are brought against UHS in the future, there could be a material adverse impact on their financial position, results of operations and liquidity, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on us.

In particular, government investigations, as well as qui tam and stockholder lawsuits, may lead to material fines, penalties, damages payments or other sanctions, including exclusion from government healthcare programs. Settlements of lawsuits involving Medicare and Medicaid issues routinely require both monetary payments and corporate integrity agreements, each of which could have a material adverse effect on UHS’s business, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on us.

We hold non-controlling equity ownership interests in various joint-ventures.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, 12% of our consolidated and unconsolidated revenues were generated by four jointly-owned LLCs/LPs in which we hold non-controlling equity ownership interests ranging from 33% to 95%.  Our level of investment and lack of control exposes us to potential losses of our investments and revenues. Although our ownership arrangements have been beneficial to us in the past, we cannot guarantee that they will continue to be beneficial in the future.

Pursuant to the operating and/or partnership agreements of the four LLCs/LPs in which we continue to hold non-controlling ownership interests, the third-party member and the Trust, at any time, potentially subject to certain conditions, have the right to make an offer (“Offering Member”) to the other member(s) (“Non-Offering Member”) in which it either agrees to: (i) sell the entire ownership interest of the Offering Member to the Non-Offering Member (“Offer to Sell”) at a price as determined by the Offering Member (“Transfer Price”), or; (ii) purchase the entire ownership interest of the Non-Offering Member (“Offer to Purchase”) at the

 

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equivalent proportionate Transfer Price. The Non-Offering Member has 60 to 90 days to either: (i) purchase the entire ownership interest of the Offering Member at the Transfer Price, or; (ii) sell its entire ownership interest to the Offering Member at the equivalent proportionate Transfer Price. The closing of the transfer must occur within 60 to 90 days of the acceptance by the Non-Offering Member.

In addition to the above-mentioned rights of the third-party members, from time to time, we have had discussions with third-party members about purchasing or selling the interests or the underlying property to each other or a third party. If we were to sell our interests or underlying property, we may not be able to redeploy the proceeds into assets at the same or greater return as we currently receive. During any such time that we were not able to do so, our ability to increase or maintain our dividend at current levels could be adversely affected which could cause our stock price to decline.

The bankruptcy, default, insolvency or financial deterioration of our tenants could significantly delay our ability to collect unpaid rents or require us to find new operators.

Our financial position and our ability to make distributions to our shareholders may be adversely affected by financial difficulties experienced by any of our major tenants, including bankruptcy, insolvency or a general downturn in the business. We are exposed to the risk that our operators may not be able to meet their obligations, which may result in their bankruptcy or insolvency. Although our leases and loans provide us the right to terminate an investment, evict an operator, demand immediate repayment and other remedies, the bankruptcy laws afford certain rights to a party that has filed for bankruptcy or reorganization. An operator in bankruptcy may be able to restrict our ability to collect unpaid rents or interest during the bankruptcy proceeding.

Required regulatory approvals can delay or prohibit transfers of our healthcare facilities.

Transfers of healthcare facilities to successor tenants or operators may be subject to regulatory approvals or ratifications, including, but not limited to, change of ownership approvals under certificate of need laws and Medicare and Medicaid provider arrangements that are not required for transfers of other types of commercial operations and other types of real estate. The replacement of any tenant or operator could be delayed by the regulatory approval process of any federal, state or local government agency necessary for the transfer of the facility or the replacement of the operator licensed to manage the facility. If we are unable to find a suitable replacement tenant or operator upon favorable terms, or at all, we may take possession of a facility, which might expose us to successor liability or require us to indemnify subsequent operators to whom we might transfer the operating rights and licenses, all of which may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Real estate ownership creates risks and liabilities that may result in unanticipated losses or expenses.

Our business is subject to risks associated with real estate acquisitions and ownership, including:

 

general liability, property and casualty losses, some of which may be uninsured;

 

the illiquid nature of real estate and the real estate market that impairs our ability to purchase or sell our assets rapidly to respond to changing economic conditions;

 

real estate market factors, such as the supply and demand of office space and market rental rates, changes in interest rates as well as an increase in the development of medical office condominiums in certain markets;

 

costs that may be incurred relating to maintenance and repair, and the need to make expenditures due to changes in governmental regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act;

 

environmental hazards at our properties for which we may be liable, including those created by prior owners or occupants, existing tenants, mortgagors or other persons, and;

 

defaults and bankruptcies by our tenants.

In addition to the foregoing risks, we cannot predict whether the leases on our properties, including the leases on the hospitals leased to subsidiaries of UHS, which have options to purchase the respective leased facilities at the end of the lease or renewal terms at the appraised fair market value, will be renewed at their current rates or fair market value lease rates at the end of the lease terms in 2021 or 2026. If the leases are not renewed, we may be required to find other operators for these hospitals and/or enter into leases with less favorable terms. The exercise of purchase options for our hospitals may result in a less favorable rate of return for us than the rental revenue currently earned on such facilities. Further, the purchase options and rights of first refusal granted to the respective lessees to purchase or lease the respective leased hospitals, after the expiration of the lease term, may adversely affect our ability to sell or lease a hospital, and may present a potential conflict of interest between us and UHS since the price and terms offered by a third-party are likely to be dependent, in part, upon the financial performance of the facility during the final years of the lease term.

 

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A pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of a contagious disease in the markets in which our tenants operate or that otherwise impacts our facilities could adversely impact our business.

If a pandemic or other public health crisis were to affect our markets, such as a major breakout of the Coronavirus in the United States, the businesses of our tenants could be adversely affected. Such a crisis could diminish the public trust in healthcare facilities, especially hospitals that fail to accurately or timely diagnose, or other facilities such as medical office buildings that are treating (or have treated) patients affected by contagious diseases. If any of our facilities were involved in treating patients for such a contagious disease, other patients might cancel elective procedures or fail to seek needed care from the tenants of our facilities. Further, a pandemic might adversely impact our tenants’ businesses by causing a temporary shutdown or diversion of patients, by disrupting or delaying production and delivery of materials and products in the supply chain or by causing staffing shortages in those facilities. The potential impact of a pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of a contagious disease with respect to our tenants or our facilities is difficult to predict and could have a material adverse impact on the operations of our tenants and, in turn, ours.

Catastrophic weather and other natural events, whether caused by climate change or otherwise, could result in damage to our properties.

Many of our properties are located in areas susceptible to revenue loss, cost increase, or damage caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. We could experience losses to the extent that such damages exceed insurance coverage, cause an increase in insurance premiums, and/or a decrease in demand for properties located in such areas. In the event that climate change causes such catastrophic weather or other natural events to increase broadly or in localized areas, such costs and damages could increase above historic expectations. In addition, changes in federal and state legislation and regulation on climate change could result in increased capital expenditures to improve energy efficiency of our existing properties and could require us to spend more on development and redevelopment properties without a corresponding increase in revenue.

Significant potential liabilities and rising insurance costs and availability may have an adverse effect on the operations of our operators, which may negatively impact their ability to meet their obligations to us.

As is typical in the healthcare industry, in the ordinary course of business, our operators, including UHS, are subject to medical malpractice lawsuits, product liability lawsuits, class action lawsuits and other legal actions. Some of these actions may involve large claims, as well as significant defense costs. If their ultimate liability for professional and general liability claims could change materially from current estimates, if such policy limitations should be partially or fully exhausted in the future, or payments of claims exceed estimates or are not covered by insurance, it could have a material adverse effect on the operations of our operators and, in turn, us.

Property insurance rates, particularly for earthquake insurance in California, have also continued to increase. Our tenants and operators, including UHS, may be unable to fulfill their insurance, indemnification and other obligations to us under their leases and mortgages and thereby potentially expose us to those risks. In addition, our tenants and operators may be unable to pay their lease or mortgage payments, which could potentially decrease our revenues and increase our collection and litigation costs. Moreover, to the extent we are required to foreclose on the affected facilities, our revenues from those facilities could be reduced or eliminated for an extended period of time. In addition, we may in some circumstances be named as a defendant in litigation involving the actions of our operators. Although we have no involvement in the activities of our operators and our standard leases generally require our operators to carry insurance to cover us in certain cases, a significant judgment against us in such litigation could exceed our and our operators’ insurance coverage, which would require us to make payments to cover the judgment.

If we fail to maintain our REIT status, we will become subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates.

In order to qualify as a REIT, we must comply with certain highly technical and complex Internal Revenue Code provisions. Although we believe we have been qualified as a REIT since our inception, there can be no assurance that we have been so qualified or will remain qualified in the future. Failure to qualify as a REIT may subject us to income tax liabilities, including federal income tax at regular corporate rates. The additional income tax incurred may significantly reduce the cash flow available for distribution to shareholders and for debt service. In addition, if disqualified, we might be barred from qualification as a REIT for four years following disqualification. Also, if disqualified, we will not be allowed a deduction for distributions to stockholders in computing our taxable income and we could be subject to increased state and local income taxes.

Even if we remain qualified as a REIT, we may face other tax liabilities that reduce our cash flow.

Even if we remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets, including taxes on any undistributed income, tax on income from some activities conducted as a result of a foreclosure, and

 

16


state or local income, property and transfer taxes. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for the payment of our debt obligations.

Dividends paid by REITs generally do not qualify for reduced tax rates.

In general, dividends (qualified) paid by a U.S. corporation to individual U.S. shareholders are subject to Federal income tax at a maximum rate of 20% for 2019 (subject to certain additional taxes for certain taxpayers). In contrast, since we are a REIT, our distributions to individual U.S. shareholders are not eligible for the reduced rates which apply to distributions from regular corporations, and thus may be subject to Federal income tax at a rate as high as 37% for 2019 (subject to certain additional taxes for certain taxpayers).  The differing treatment of dividends received from REITs and other corporations might cause individual investors to view an investment in REITs as less attractive relative to other corporations, which might negatively affect the value of our shares.

Should we be unable to comply with the strict income distribution requirements applicable to REITs utilizing only cash generated by operating activities, we would be required to generate cash from other sources which could adversely affect our financial condition.

To obtain the favorable tax treatment associated with qualifying as a REIT, in general, we are required each year to distribute to our shareholders at least 90% of our net taxable income. In addition, we are subject to a tax on any undistributed portion of our income at regular corporate rates and might also be subject to a 4% excise tax on this undistributed income. To meet the distribution requirements necessary to achieve the tax benefits associated with qualifying as a REIT, we could be required to: (i) seek borrowed funds even if conditions are not favorable for borrowing; (ii) issue equity which could have a dilutive effect on the future dividends and share value of our existing shareholders, and/or; (iii) divest assets that we might have otherwise decided to retain. Securing funds through these other non-operating means could adversely affect our financial condition and future results of operations.

Complying with REIT requirements may cause us to forego otherwise attractive opportunities.

To qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, we continually must satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets, the amounts we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of our stock. We may be unable to pursue investments that would be otherwise advantageous to us in order to satisfy the source-of-income, asset-diversification or distribution requirements for qualifying as a REIT. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our ability to make certain attractive investments.

The market value of our common stock could be substantially affected by various factors.

Many factors, certain of which are outside of our control, could have an adverse effect on the share price of our common stock. These factors include certain of the risks discussed herein, our financial condition, performance and prospects, the market for similar securities issued by REITs, demographic changes, operating results of our operators and other hospital companies, changes in our financial estimates or recommendations of securities analysts, speculation in the press or investment community, the possible effects of war, terrorist and other hostilities, adverse weather conditions (whether caused by climate change or otherwise), the level of seasonal illnesses, changes in general conditions in the economy, financial markets or overall interest rate environment, or other developments affecting the health care industry.

When interest rates increase, our common stock may decline in price.

Our common stock, like other dividend stocks, is sensitive to changes in market interest rates. In response to changing interest rates the price of our common stock may behave like a long-term fixed-income security and, compared to shorter-term instruments, may have more volatility. A wide variety of market factors can cause interest rates to rise, including central bank monetary policy, an uptick in inflation and changes in general economic conditions. The risks associated with increasing rates are intensified given that interest rates have been near historic lows but may be expected to increase in the future, with unpredictable effects on the markets and on the price of our common stock. Consequential effects of a general rise in interest rates may hamper our access to capital markets, affect the liquidity of our underlying investments in real estate, and, by extension, limit management’s effective range of responses to changing tenant circumstances or in answer to investment opportunities. Limited operational alternatives may further hinder our ability to maintain or increase our dividend, and the market price of our common stock may experience further declines as the result.

 

17


Ownership limitations and anti-takeover provisions in our declaration of trust and bylaws and under Maryland law and in our leases with UHS may delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transactions that could provide shareholders with a take-over premium. We are subject to significant anti-takeover provisions.

In order to protect us against the risk of losing our REIT status for federal income tax purposes, our declaration of trust permits our Trustees to redeem shares acquired or held in excess of 9.8% of the issued and outstanding shares of our voting stock and, which in the opinion of the Trustees, would jeopardize our REIT status. In addition, any acquisition of our common or preferred shares that would result in our disqualification as a REIT is null and void. The right of redemption may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of our company and could adversely affect our shareholders’ ability to realize a premium over the market price for the shares of our common stock.

Our declaration of trust authorizes our Board of Trustees to issue additional shares of common and preferred stock and to establish the preferences, rights and other terms of any series of preferred stock that we issue. Although our Board of Trustees has no intention to do so at the present time, it could establish a series of preferred stock that could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve the payment of a premium over the market price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.

The Master Lease Documents by and among us and certain subsidiaries of UHS, which governs the three acute care hospital properties and the freestanding emergency departments leased to subsidiaries of UHS, includes a change of control provision. The change of control provision grants UHS the right, upon one month’s notice should a change of control of the Trust occur, to purchase any or all of the leased hospital properties at their appraised fair market values. The exercise of this purchase option may result in a less favorable rate of return earned on the sales proceeds received than the rental revenue currently earned on such facilities.

These provisions could discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or make it more difficult for a third-party to gain control of us, which could adversely affect the market price of our securities and prevent shareholders from receiving a take-over premium.

We depend heavily on key management personnel and the departure of one or more of our key executives or a significant portion of our operators’ local hospital management personnel could harm our business.

The expertise and efforts of our senior executives and key members of our operators’ local hospital management personnel are critical to the success of our business. The loss of the services of one or more of our senior executives or of a significant portion of our operators’ local hospital management personnel could significantly undermine our management expertise and our operators’ ability to provide efficient, quality health care services at our facilities, which could harm their business, and in turn, harm our business.

Increasing investor interest in our sector and consolidation at the operator or REIT level could increase competition and reduce our profitability.

Our business is highly competitive and we expect that it may become more competitive in the future. We compete for the acquisition, leasing and financing of health care related facilities. Our competitors include, but are not limited to, other REITs, banks and other companies, including UHS, some of which are larger and may have a lower cost of capital than we do. These developments could result in fewer investment opportunities for us and lower spreads over our cost of our capital, which would hurt our growth. Increased competition makes it more challenging for us to identify and successfully capitalize on opportunities that meet our business goals and could improve the bargaining power of property owners seeking to sell, thereby impeding our investment, acquisition and development activities. If we cannot capitalize on our development pipeline, identify and purchase a sufficient quantity of healthcare facilities at favorable prices or if we are unable to finance acquisitions on commercially favorable terms, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

We may be required to incur substantial renovation costs to make certain of our healthcare properties suitable for other operators and tenants.

Healthcare facilities are typically highly customized and may not be easily adapted to non-healthcare-related uses. The improvements generally required to conform a property to healthcare use, such as upgrading electrical, gas and plumbing infrastructure, are costly and at times tenant-specific. A new or replacement operator or tenant may require different features in a property, depending on that operator’s or tenant’s particular operations. If a current operator or tenant is unable to pay rent and vacates a property, we may incur substantial expenditures to modify a property before we are able to secure another operator or tenant. Also, if the property needs to be renovated to accommodate multiple operators or tenants, we may incur substantial expenditures before we are able to re-lease the space. These expenditures or renovations may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

18


We are subject to significant corporate regulation as a public company and failure to comply with all applicable regulations could subject us to liability or negatively affect our stock price.

As a publicly traded company, we are subject to a significant body of regulation, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. While we have developed and instituted a corporate compliance program based on what we believe are the current best practices in corporate governance and continue to update this program in response to newly implemented or changing regulatory requirements, we cannot provide assurance that we are or will be in compliance with all potentially applicable corporate regulations. For example, we cannot provide assurance that in the future our management will not find a material weakness in connection with its annual review of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We also cannot provide assurance that we could correct any such weakness to allow our management to assess the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the end of our fiscal year in time to enable our independent registered public accounting firm to state that we have maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of the end of our fiscal year. If we fail to comply with any of these regulations, we could be subject to a range of regulatory actions, fines or other sanctions or litigation. If we must disclose any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, our stock price could decline.

 

A cyber security incident could cause a violation of HIPAA, breach of member privacy, or other negative impacts.

We and UHS rely extensively on our information technology (“IT”) systems to manage clinical and financial data, communicate with our patients, payors, vendors and other third parties and summarize and analyze operating results. In addition, UHS has made significant investments in technology to adopt and utilize electronic health records and to become a meaningful user of health information technology pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A cyber-attack that bypasses our IT security systems causing an IT security breach, loss of protected health information or other data subject to privacy laws, loss of proprietary business information, or a material disruption of our IT business systems, could have a material adverse impact on our business and result of operations. In addition, our future results of operations, as well as our reputation, could be adversely impacted by theft, destruction, loss, or misappropriation of public health information, other confidential data or proprietary business information.

Different interpretations of accounting principles could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

Generally accepted accounting principles are complex, continually evolving and may be subject to varied interpretation by us, our independent registered public accounting firm and the SEC. Such varied interpretations could result from differing views related to specific facts and circumstances. Differences in interpretation of generally accepted accounting principles could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

 

19


ITEM 2.

Properties

The following table shows our investments in hospital facilities leased to UHS and other non-related parties and also provides information related to various properties in which we have significant investments, some of which are accounted for by the equity method. The capacity in terms of beds (for the hospital facilities) and the five-year occupancy levels are based on information provided by the lessees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lease Term

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of

 

 

 

 

 

 

% of RSF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

initial

 

 

 

 

 

 

under

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

available

 

 

Average Occupancy(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

or

 

 

Renewal

 

 

lease with

 

 

Range of

 

Hospital Facility Name and

 

Type of

 

beds @

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum

 

 

renewed

 

 

term

 

 

guaranteed

 

 

guaranteed

 

Location

 

facility

 

12/31/2019

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

rent(6)

 

 

term

 

 

(years)

 

 

escalators

 

 

escalation

 

Southwest Healthcare System:

Inland Valley Campus(2)(5)(7)

   Wildomar, California

 

Acute Care

 

 

130

 

 

 

63

%

 

 

59

%

 

 

62

%

 

 

64

%

 

 

63

%

 

$

2,648,000

 

 

2021

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

0

%

 

 

 

McAllen Medical Center(3)(5)(7)

   McAllen, Texas

 

Acute Care

 

 

370

 

 

 

50

%

 

 

44

%

 

 

45

%

 

 

47

%

 

 

48

%

 

 

5,485,000

 

 

2026

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

0

%

 

 

 

Wellington Regional Medical

   Center(4)(5)(7)

   West Palm Beach, Florida

 

Acute Care

 

 

153

 

 

 

62

%

 

 

59

%

 

 

57

%

 

 

55

%

 

 

56

%

 

 

3,030,000

 

 

2021

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

0

%

 

 

 

Evansville Rehabilitation Hospital

   Evansville, Indiana (8)

 

Specialty

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

75

%

 

 

73

%

 

 

75

%

 

 

80

%

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corpus Christi

   Corpus Christi, Texas  (9)

 

Specialty

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

46

%

 

 

50

%

 

 

51

%