WASHINGTON-Uncertain future Medicaid and federal support payments to Howard University Hospital have prompted Moody's Investors Services to downgrade the university's rating to A from A1. Howard lost money in five of the past six years and lost $12 million this year through March 31. In addition, the District of Columbia's financial bind may result in reduced Medicaid payments as well as an increase in the number of uninsured patients Howard sees as the district seeks to downsize its public healthcare system. Moreover, Congress may cut federal appropriations that have supported Howard in the past. The rating downgrade affects about $95 million in uninsured debt issued through the district government. Moody's is reviewing five hospitals in Washington-including three university medical centers-because of the district's financial condition. The New York credit-rating agency confirmed Georgetown University Hospital's A1 rating but has yet to publish its reviews of George Washington University, Medlantic HealthCare Group or Greater Southeast Healthcare System.
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