Cone Health assigned 'AA' rating on new debt amid strengthening finances

Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health has been assigned an "AA" rating on new debt, Fitch Ratings said Jan. 30. The outlook for the debt is stable, Fitch added.

The rating reflects an expectation Cone Health will gradually return to stronger results in the medium term, Fitch said. After a challenging fiscal 2021, operating results weakened further in 2022 because of contract labor costs and the need to improve pay for full-time staff, the agency said.

Even in a stressed case scenario, the healthcare system has a strong financial profile, Fitch added. The new bonds are to be used to help modernize the health system's legal structure and reduce reliance on bank exposure, Fitch said.

Cone Health operates four acute care and one specialty hospital, with total revenues of about $2.5 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022, Fitch said.

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