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Who’s up and who’s down

DOWN
The Methodist Hospitals Inc.; Gary, Ind.
Rating: A-
Outlook: Negative
Affected debt: $69.85 million
Agency: Standard & Poor’s
Remarks: Rapidly deteriorating financial profile, tempered somewhat by immediate implementation of turnaround plan for the system. Uncertainties remain about the ultimate success of the restructuring. Projected $15 million loss in 2006 fiscal year.

UP
Westchester Medical Center; Valhalla, N.Y.
Rating: BB
Outlook: Positive
Affected debt: $113 million
Agency: Standard & Poor’s
Remarks: Rating was raised three notches thanks to significant progress made to reduce operating losses, but remains speculative because of those losses.

DOWN
Hawaii Pacific Health; Honolulu
Rating: Baa1
Outlook: Negative
Affected debt: $258 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Significant downturn in financial performance during the first half of 2006 due in part to increased competitive pressures resulting in volume decline and a potential shift in market share.

DOWN
Montgomery General Hospital; Olney, Md.
Rating: A3
Outlook: Negative
Affected debt: $17 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Operating margins had improved through the 2005 fiscal year, but have worsened of late. A number of large competing hospitals are located within 15 miles of MGH, so inpatient volume growth has been minimal.

—Philip Betbeze