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Who’s up and who’s down

Up

Stillwater Medical Center, Stillwater, Okla.
Rating:
BBB+
Outlook: Stable
Affected debt: $20.2 million
Agency: Standard & Poor’s
Remarks: Favorable operating performance, cash flow generation and improved balance sheet. SMC has 62 percent market share in its primary service area and four straight years of operating margins of 4 percent or higher.

Down

North Oakland Medical Center, Pontiac, Mich.
Rating:
Ba3
Outlook: Negative
Affected debt: $40 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Considerable competition and weak demographic trends in Pontiac, where median family income is significantly lower than national and state averages with declining population. NOMC is the second player in a three-hospital market.

Up

McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence, S.C.
Rating: A
Outlook: Positive
Affected debt: $190.5 million
Agency: Standard & Poor’s
Remarks: Three-hospital system is dominant provider in its 12-county service area. Boasts healthy and increasing operating income and solid improvement in liquidity.

DOWN
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J.
Rating: A2
Outlook: Negative
Affected debt: $213 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Continued operating losses through the 2005 fiscal year and the prospect of upcoming union negotiations which have been costly in the past.

—Philip Betbeze