8 health systems with strong finances

Here are eight health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions, according to recent 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 recent credit rating reports and are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Lincoln, Neb.-based Bryan Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The system has a strong market position, healthy balance sheet metrics and growing patient volume, according to Fitch.

2. Mercy Health in Cincinnati has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's and an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The health system has solid debt service coverage and strong balance sheet metrics, according to Moody's.

3. Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial HealthCare has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The system has a prominent and growing market position in the Chicago region, a strong investment position, good margins and manageable leverage, according to Moody's.

4. San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The system has strong balance sheet measures and a fundamentally stable and strong strategic position, according to Moody's.

5. Stanford (Calif.) Health Care has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The system has a strong market position as one of two major academic medical centers in the Bay Area, a reputation for clinical excellence and research, and is in a service area with strong population growth and high wealth levels, according to Moody's.

6. Iowa City-based University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has a broad market with growing patient volumes and geographic reach for its high-acuity services, according to Moody's.

7. Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania Health System has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The system has a strong and growing market position, good liquidity, and a history of beating budgets and managing capital spending relative to operating performance, according to Moody's.

8. Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health System has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The system has a leading market position in Connecticut, solid liquidity, moderate capital needs and manageable leverage, according to Moody's.

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