9 hospitals and health systems with strong finances

Here are nine hospitals and health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions based on recent reports from Moody's Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Rating Service.

Hospitals and health systems are ordered chronologically by report, starting with the most recent.

1. Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care Network has an "Aa2" rating with Moody's. Advocate is the largest health system in the greater Chicago area and has very good debt coverage, a strong balance sheet and a well-funded pension plan.

2. Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health has an "A+" rating with Fitch Ratings. The system has good liquidity. As of June 30, the system had unrestricted cash and investments of $857 million, which translated to 168.9 days cash on hand.

3. Atlantic City, N.J.-based AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center recently received a positive outlook from S&P. The rating agency also affirmed AtlantiCare's "A+" rating.

4. Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham has an "A+" long-term rating with S&P. The hospital has a strong financial profile, which is supported by its improving debt-related ratios and solid operating performance. It is also the only provider of comprehensive tertiary and quaternary pediatric services in the state.

5. Greenwood, S.C.-based Self Regional Healthcare has an "A1" rating with Moody's. The system has a leading market share in its service area, strong operating performance and maintains good balance sheet ratios.

6. Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock has an "AA-" rating with S&P. The hospital has a solid business position as Arkansas' only stand-alone tertiary and quaternary provider of pediatric health services. The hospital also has healthy operating results, solid debt coverage, modest leverage and sound liquidity.

7. Akron (Ohio) Children's Hospital has an "A1" rating with Moody's. The hospital has a leading market share as a regional pediatric provider and strong operating performance. The hospital has also maintained good balance sheet ratios.

8. Kettering (Ohio) Health Network recently received a positive outlook from S&P. The revision of the system's outlook from stable to positive was based on its improved operational performance and strengthened balance sheet over the past two years.

9. Memphis, Tenn.-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare & Affiliates recently received a positive outlook from S&P. The revision of the hospital's outlook from stable to positive was based on the system's solid business position and leading market share.

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