Debt default risk for hospitals drops from 2020 high

Alia Paavola -

The likelihood that U.S. hospitals will default on debt within the next year fell significantly since the 2020 peak amid the early days of the pandemic, according to a March 10 report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

In 2020, the median default odds jumped to 8.1 percent. However, as of March 8, the probability of default rate fell to 0.9 percent. 

Samuel Maizel, a partner from law firm Dentons, told S&P Global that many hospitals operate on razor-thin margins, and they are seeing less cash flow amid the pandemic as patients shy away from receiving care, but stimulus funds should help avert a tidal wave of hospital bankruptcies in the next year.

"They're sitting on a lot of cash, which gives them a cushion, even though they're continuing to lose money," Mr. Maizel told S&P Global. 

S&P said that as stimulus funds dry up other pressures may challenge healthcare facilities.

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