14 health systems with strong finances

Here are 14 health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions, according to reports from Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Hospital and health system names were compiled from credit rating reports and are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Advocate Aurora Health, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and Downers Grove, Ill., has an "Aa3" rating and positive outlook with Moody's and an "AA" rating and stable outlook with S&P. Moody's said it expects Advocate Aurora to maintain low leverage, a favorable liquidity position and healthy long-term margins, despite the near-term impact from COVID-19. 

2. Phoenix-based Banner Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch and an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The health system has a strong financial profile and growing financial stability in its insurance division, Fitch said. Notwithstanding the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, Fitch expects Banner's improvement to operating margins will resume and continue to support spending levels and liquidity growth. 

3. Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has a broad geographic footprint, a good payer mix and a strong financial profile, Fitch said. The credit rating agency anticipates that Bon Secours Mercy Health will increase capital spending over the next three years due to strategic investments in its expanded markets.

4. Boston Children's Hospital has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The hospital has a preeminent reputation as the top children's hospital in the U.S., robust cash reserves and strong fundraising capabilities, Moody's said. The credit rating agency expects the hospital's exceptional market position and robust liquidity to help it return to pre-COVID-19 levels to support proposed increases in leverage and capital investments.

5. Omaha, Neb.-based Children's Hospital and Medical Center has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The hospital has a dominant market position as the only comprehensive pediatric provider in Nebraska, and its operating cash flow levels are robust enough to absorb any short-term pressure related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fitch said. 

6. Aurora-based Children's Hospital Colorado has an "AA+" rating and positive outlook with S&P. The hospital has a solid financial profile and healthy unrestricted reserves, which makes it well positioned to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and related recession, S&P said. 

7. Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare has an "AA+" rating and stable outlook with Fitch and an "Aa1" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has a leading market position, low debt levels and strong absolute and relative cash levels, Moody's said. The credit rating agency expects Intermountain will be able to substantially return to and sustain pre-COVID-19 volume levels and margins. 

8. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The rating agency said Kaiser has a leading market share in California and other key markets, and its operational profile is arguably the most emulated model of healthcare delivery in the nation. 

9. New York City-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The hospital has robust fundraising capabilities, an advantageous payer mix and has expanded its ambulatory footprint, providing additional revenue diversity, S&P said. 

10. Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has a strong financial profile, robust operating performance and a leading market position in a favorable service area, Fitch said. 

11. Columbus-based OhioHealth has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has a leading market position in the Columbus region, and its strong financial and management resources will help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, Moody's said.

12. Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The hospital has a leading market position in a growing service area, robust historical operating cash flow levels and a strong liquidity position, Fitch said. 

13. Stanford (Calif.) Health Care has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has unique clinical offerings and a strong reputation for patient care and research, according to Moody's. The credit rating agency expects Stanford Health Care to maintain strong patient demand and grow absolute cash flow over the next several years.

14. Arlington-based Virginia Hospital Center has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The credit rating agency expects Virginia Hospital Center's strong operating performance to continue after the market recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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