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Troubled Pennsylvania health system looks for a buyer

West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health is looking for a partner to buy the entire system, which comprises six hospitals, according to the Reading Eagle.

"We are compelled to pursue every possible avenue available to protect and preserve the future of care at all of our hospitals and facilities," Tower said in a statement to The Philadelphia Inquirer on Feb. 26. "As part of this process, we will examine potential partnerships for the entire Tower Health system with like-minded health systems that share our same values and passion for clinical excellence." 

The health system had previously said it was looking for buyers for its hospitals, with the exception of its flagship facility, Reading Hospital in West Reading, according to the Inquirer. 

On March 1, Tower Health was hit with a three-notch credit downgrade by Fitch Ratings. The credit rating agency said its long-term "B+" rating and negative outlook for the system reflect significant ongoing financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and operational challenges following the 2017 acquisition of five hospitals. 

S&P lowered its rating on Tower Health by two notches, to "BB-" from "BB+," on March 2. 

Tower Health had operating losses of more than $415 million in fiscal year 2020, and it expects an operating loss of about $160 million in fiscal 2021, according to Fitch. 

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:
UnityPoint Health sells Iowa hospital
FTC drops challenge to Philadelphia health system merger
Ohio health system finalizes deal for 4th hospital

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