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Money Talk

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, July 13, 2010
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Who’s up and who’s down
UP
Northeast Health System, Beverly, MA
Rating: Baa2
Outlook: Stable
Affected debt: $71.6 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Moody’s affirmed the Baa2 rating assigned to Northeast Health System’s bonds, and the outlook was revised to stable from negative reflecting a rebound in the hospital’s investment portfolio that significantly reduced the risk of not meeting its days-cash covenant on letter of credit-backed debt. The affirmation of rating and the revision of outlook were due to Northeast meeting the 80- days-cash-on-hand covenant in its letter of credit reimbursement agreements while maintaining adequate profitability.

Up
Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Meyers, FL
Rating: A3
Outlook: Positive
Affected debt: $42 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Moody’s assigned an A3 underlying rating to Lee Memorial Health System’s Series 2010 taxable Build America Bonds. The outlook has been revised to positive from negative based upon LMHS’ demonstrated ability to improve operating performance despite a difficult economic environment in its service area.

UP
Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, NJ
Rating: A-
Outlook: Stable
Affected debt: $38.96 million
Agency: Standard & Poor’s
Remarks: S&P revised Hunterdon Medical Center’s rating outlook to stable from negative and affirmed its A- long-term rating on the $21.86 million series 2006A and $17.1 million series 2006B bonds. The outlook revision reflects measurable income statement and balance sheet improvement in 2009. The rating reflects Hunterdon’s strong business position and sound overall financial profile.

DOWN
Nevada (MO) Regional Medical Center
Rating: BBB-
Outlook: Negative Affected debt: $21.73 million
Agency: Standard & Poor’s
Remarks: S&P revised its outlook to negative from stable on the long-term and underlying rating on Nevada, MO’s $21.73 million hospital revenue bonds, issued for Nevada Regional Medical Center. S&P also affirmed the hospital’s BBB- long-term rating. The outlook revision is based on a continued negative operating trend and declining utilization.


Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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