19 health systems with strong finances

Here are 19 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. Health system names were compiled from credit rating reports.

1. Morristown, N.J.-based Atlantic Health System has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has strong operating performance and liquidity metrics, Moody's said. The credit rating agency expects Atlantic Health System to sustain strong performance to support capital spending. 

2. Banner Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The Phoenix-based health system's core hospital delivery system and growth of its insurance division combine to make it a successful highly integrated delivery system, Fitch said. The credit rating agency said it expects Banner to maintain operating EBITDA margins of about 8 percent on an annual basis, reflecting the growing revenues from the system's insurance division and large employed physician base. 

3. Clearwater, Fla.-based BayCare has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The 14-hospital system has excellent liquidity and operating metrics, which are supported by its leading market position in a four-county area, Fitch said. The credit rating agency expects strong revenue growth and cost management to sustain BayCare's operating performance.

4. CentraCare has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The St. Cloud, Minn.-based system has a leading market position and solid operating margins, Fitch said. The credit rating agency said it expects CentraCare's operating platform to remain strong. 

5. Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has a leading market share and a favorable payer mix, Fitch said. The health system's broad operating platform and strategic capital investments should enable it to return to stronger operating results, the credit rating agency said. 

6. Franciscan Alliance has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The Mishawaka, Ind.-based health system has a very strong cash position and maintains leading market shares in seven of its nine defined primary service areas, Fitch said. The health system benefits from a good payer mix, the credit rating agency said. 

7. Gundersen Health System has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The La Crosse, Wis.-based health system has strong balance sheet metrics and a leading market position and expanding operating platform in its service area, Fitch said The credit rating agency expects the health system to return to strong operating performance as it emerges from disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

8. Falls Church, Va.-based Inova Health System has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has a consistently strong operating cash flow margin and ample balance sheet resources, Moody's said. Inova's financial excellence will remain undergirded by its favorable regulatory and economic environment, the credit rating agency said. 

9. Vineland, N.J.-based Inspira Health Network has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has strong operating performance, a leading market position in a stable service area and a growing residency program, Fitch said. The credit rating agency expects the system's growing outpatient footprint and an increase in patient volumes to support its operating stability. 

10. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has a strong financial profile, and the system's operating platform is "arguably the most emulated model" for nonprofit healthcare delivery in the U.S., Fitch said. By revenue base, Kaiser is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S., and it is the most fully integrated healthcare delivery system in the country, according to the credit rating agency. 

11. Mass General Brigham has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's and an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The Boston-based health system has an excellent clinical reputation, good financial performance and strong balance sheet metrics, Moody's said. The credit rating agency said it expects Mass General Brigham to maintain a strong market position and stable financial performance. 

12. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The credit rating agency said Mayo Clinic's strong market position and patient demand will drive favorable financial results. The health system "will continue to leverage its excellent reputation and patient demand to continue generating favorable operating performance while maintaining strong balance sheet ratios," Moody's said. 

13. Methodist Health System has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The Dallas-based system has strong operating performance, and investments in facilities have allowed it to continue to capture more market share in the fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area, Moody's said. The credit rating agency said it expects Methodist Health System's strong operating performance and favorable liquidity to continue.

14. Traverse City, Mich.-based Munson Healthcare has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has a strong market position, a good payer mix and robust cash-to-adjusted debt levels, Fitch said. The credit rating agency expects the system to weather an expected period of weakened operating cash flow margins. 

15. Albuquerque, N.M.-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's and an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. Presbyterian Healthcare Services is the largest health system in New Mexico, and it has strong revenue growth and a healthy balance sheet, Moody's said. The credit rating agency said it expects the health system's balance sheet and debt metrics to remain strong. 

16. Chicago-based Rush Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has a strong financial profile and a broad reach for high-acuity services as a leading academic medical center, Fitch said. The credit rating agency expects Rush's services to remain profitable over time. 

17. Stanford (Calif.) Health Care has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has extensive clinical reach in a competitive market and its financial profile is improving, Fitch said. The health system's EBITDA margins rebounded in fiscal year 2021 and are expected to remain strong going forward, the crediting rating agency said. 

18. University of Chicago Medical Center has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The credit rating agency said it expects University of Chicago Medical Center's capital-related ratios to remain strong, in part because of its broad reach of high-acuity services. 

19. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The Iowa City-based health system, the only academic medical center in Iowa, has strong patient demand and excellent financial management, Moody's said. The credit rating agency said it expects the health system to continue to manage the pandemic with improved operating cash flow margins.

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