5 health systems with strong finances

Here are five 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 Ratings Services.

1. St. Louis-based Ascension Health has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's, an "AA+" rating and stable outlook with Fitch and an "AA+" and stable outlook with S&P. Ascension has a broad operating platform, strong management practices and consistent profitability, according to Fitch.

2. Mayo Clinic has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's and an "AA" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The Rochester, Minn.-based system has an excellent enterprise profile and strong fundraising ability, according to the credit rating agencies.

3. Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's and an "AA" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The system has a leading market position, strong patient demand and history of solid operating margins, according to Moody's.

4. Inova Health System has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The Falls Church, Va.-based system has a leading market position, excellent liquidity and robust financial performance.

5. Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health System has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The system has a renowned clinical reputation, low debt burden and strong historical operating results.

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