5 Hospitals Receive Credit Downgrades in Past Month

Five acute-care hospitals and health systems received a credit downgrade between Aug. 15 and Sept. 14, according to a report by HFA Partners.

The hospitals and health systems receiving credit downgrades included:

•    Akron (Ohio) General Health System — from BBB to BBB- (S&P)
•    Coalinga (Calif.) Regional Medical Center (Calif.) — from B to B- (S&P)
•    King's Daughters Medical Center (Ashland, Ky.) — from A1 to A2 (Moody's)
•    Meriter Hospital (Madison, Wis.) — from A1 to A2 (Moody's)
•    UMass Memorial Health Care (Worcester, Mass.) — from A- to BBB+ (S&P)

In late August, Akron General signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems and Cleveland Clinic. Under the proposed deal, CHS and Cleveland Clinic would purchase most assets of Akron General for an undisclosed amount of money. Akron General President and CEO Tim Stover, MD, said the move was needed to stabilize the system's finances and ensure "our mission of service to the community for generations to come."

Four acute-care hospitals and health systems garnered a credit upgrade in the past month:

•    Children's Hospital Central California (Madera) — from Baa2 to A1 (Moody's)
•    Hawaii Pacific Health (Honolulu) — from A3 to A2 (Moody's)
•    Sibley Memorial Hospital (Washington, D.C.) — from A2 to Aa3 (Moody's)
•    St. Elizabeth's Healthcare (Covington, Ky.) — from AA- to AA (Fitch)

Four hospitals and health systems also had positive rating affirmation changes, while five hospitals and health systems had negative rating affirmation changes.

Related Articles on Hospital Finance:
2013 Interest Rate Update
Fitch: HMA's Credit Not Punctured in Board Firings
5 Hospitals Receive Credit Downgrades in Past Month

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