EHR Install Factor in Centegra's Weakened Credit Rating

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the revenue bond credit rating of Centegra Health System, based in Crystal Lake, Ill., to "BBB" from "A-".

The ratings move reflects the system's light profitability and high debt burden, mostly due to Centegra's recent investments in physician alignment, new facilities and IT systems, notably the new electronic health record system that went live in May.

These one-time expenditures kept the system's operating margin at a low 0.5 percent during the nine-month period ended March 31, and they played a major factor in Fitch's downgrade for Centegra despite the system's large market share in its county.

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