New York hospital's credit rating plummets after cyberattack: 4 notes

Hannah Mitchell - Print  | 

Watertown, N.Y.-based Samaritan Medical Center encountered a data breach more than a year ago. Now, the hospital is still facing financial repercussions as its credit rating drops, according to an Aug. 4 Bloomberg Law report.

Four notes:

  1. A malware attack in July 2020 took the hospital's computer system offline and forced it to revert to paper records. Some patients whose procedures were not urgent were rescheduled.

  2. A year later, the New York hospital had its credit rating "cut to junk," in a rare downgrade tied to cyberattacks, according to the report.

  3. S&P Global Ratings dropped the hospital's rating on municipal bonds by two notches, to "BB" or non-investment grade. According to the S&P, the cyberattack exaggerated pre-existing financial strain.

  4. Even with federal aid extended amid the pandemic, the hospital's financial status continued to worsen, the report said. The malware attack delayed its cash collection and triggered a drop in reserves. The result was the credit rating two notches below investment grade.

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