5 hospitals with strong finances

Here are five hospitals and health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions based on recent reports from Standard & Poor's Rating Service.

1. Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health has an "AA-" rating with S&P. Sutter's solid financial profile has long been characterized by strong margins and cash flow generating sound coverage consistent with the rating.

2. Madison-based University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics has an "A+" rating with S&P. The system has a strong business position as the state's only academic medical center. UWHCA also has an overall strong financial profile.

3. Lancaster (Pa.) General Hospital has an "AA-" rating with S&P. The hospital has a healthy balance sheet, characterized by low leverage and above-median level liquidity.

4. Dover, Del.-based Bayhealth Medical Center has an "A+" rating with S&P. The system has solid continued operating performance and a strong balance sheet. S&P expects Bayhealth's cash flow to remain solid over the next several years.

5. Winchester (Mass.) Hospital has an "A" rating with S&P. The hospital is a highly strategic subsidiary of Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health System given its geographic significance to LHS' market and its importance to LHS' strategy to shift patients to the lowest cost setting.

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