5 hospitals and health systems with strong finances

Here are five hospitals and 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 Rating Service.

Hospitals and health systems are ordered chronologically by report, starting with the most recent.

1. Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock has an "AA-" rating with S&P. The hospital has a solid business position as Arkansas' only stand-alone tertiary and quaternary provider of pediatric health services. The hospital also has healthy operating results, solid debt coverage, modest leverage and sound liquidity.

2. Akron (Ohio) Children's Hospital has an "A1" rating with Moody's. The hospital has a leading market share as a regional pediatric provider and strong operating performance. The hospital has also maintained good balance sheet ratios.

3. Birmingham-based Children's Hospital of Alabama has an "A1" rating with Moody's. Its rating is supported by a number of factors, including its status as the only pediatric hospital in Alabama, and its affiliation with University of Alabama at Birmingham.

4. Kettering (Ohio) Health Network recently received a positive outlook from S&P. The revision of the system's outlook from stable to positive was based on its improved operational performance and strengthened balance sheet over the past two years.

5. Memphis, Tenn.-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare & Affiliates recently received a positive outlook from S&P. The revision of the hospital's outlook from stable to positive was based on the system's solid business position and leading market share.

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