The credit-worthiness of not-for-profit hospitals and health systems stabilized in the first six months of 2004, Standard & Poor's said, with an equal number of rating upgrades and downgrades after three straight years in which downgrades outpaced upgrades about 4-to-1. The ratings agency said it has issued 153 rating affirmations, another sign of stability, although there is still a wide gap between strong performers and weak performers. Upgrades in the second quarter covered bonds worth a total of $2.05 billion vs. $927 million in downgrades. S&P noted that the outlook revisions ran more negative than positive for the second quarter, 13 to 9, reversing the first quarter. -- by Vince Galloro
Not-for-profit hospitals looking better at the bank
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