$12B in hospital bonds impaired

Facing high labor costs and economic uncertainty, hospitals hold $12 billion in impaired bonds, The Wall Street Journal reported July 5.

According to Municipal Market Analytics, nearly 4 percent of all hospital municipal bond debt is outstanding. The debt crisis is at its worst level in the past 15 years, including during the 2008 financial crash.

The COVID-19-era reliance on travel labor exacerbated the issue. Visalia, Calif.-based Kaweah Health paid nurses $200 per hour at the pandemic's peak, according to the Journal

The health system's lenders now demand $18 million in reserves as a guarantee for bondholders. 

Hospitals that fail to meet lenders' requirements can face higher interest rates and credit downgrades.


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