Top-rated hospitals and health systems appeared to suffer from the weak stock market more than low-rated facilities, according to a report by Fitch Ratings. AA-rated facilities reported investment returns of 0.2% in 2001, versus 4.56% for those rated BBB. The rating agency said stronger credits historically report superior returns, but it's possible that their yields fell in 2001 because of riskier investment strategies. Overall hospitals' median return on investments fell to 1.47% in 2001, compared with 8.29% in 2000 and 10.24% in 1999. Meanwhile, the percentage of hospital investments in equities grew to 42% in 2001 from 10% in 1995, Fitch said. The company based its findings on its portfolio of 199 rated credits. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
Top-rated hospitals hurt more by weak market
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