Providence suffers 2nd downgrade in a few days

Renton, Wash.-based Providence had its second downgrade in less than a week amid higher expenses that helped lead to steeper-than-expected losses and an expectation of a multiyear recovery.

The rating downgrade from "A+" to "A" applies to the system's long-term rating as well as to various bonds it holds, S&P Global said March 21. The outlook is negative.

"The negative outlook reflects our view of the steep operating losses that management must address over the next year to put the organization on a path to better cash flow and break-even margins," S&P said.

The rating downgrade follows a similar move by Fitch March 17.

Positive fundamentals such as its diversified services and robust strategic plan, as well as its leading market positions in all seven of its regionally centered markets, stands Providence in good stead, S&P added.

Providence, a 51-hospital system, recently reported a fiscal 2022 operating loss of $1.7 billion.

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