Willis-Knighton affirmed credit ratings at 'AA' amid positive recovery expectations

Shreveport, La.-based Willis-Knighton Health System had its overall and specific bonds ratings affirmed at "AA-" amid expectations it has a strong enough market presence and robust financial profile to recover margins "materially" in 2023, Fitch Ratings said Jan. 23.

Such recovery will likely be supported by labor cost reduction initiatives, more efficient patient care and clinical expansion projects in some of the system's underserved areas, Fitch said.

Willis-Knighton Health consists of four acute care hospital facilities with a total of 780 staffed acute care beds. The flagship hospital is the WK Medical Center supported by WK South, WK Bossier Health Center and WK Pierremont Health Center.

The system, which has approximately $750 million in long-term debt, focuses its care in a 35-mile radius around Shreveport, allowing for a 58.2 percent market share in the region where it competes with Ochsner LSU Health and Christus. The group's outlook is stable, Fitch said.

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