Care New England's 'BB-' rating affirmed

Providence, R.I.-based Care New England has had its default rating and that on $135.8 million of bonds affirmed at "BB-," Fitch Ratings said May 12. The system's outlook remains negative.

The ratings reflect Care New England's "ongoing operational challenges and thin liquidity," Fitch said. While operating performance is expected to improve, there remains a low cash position of concern, the note said.

The 970-bed system reported operating losses of $13.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 with overall net income of $1.34 million. The system has only approximately 44 days of cash on hand, Fitch said.

Care New England and Providence-based Lifespan have not ruled out another attempt at merging after regulators tossed their proposal in February 2022.

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