Ratios of not-for-profit hospitals' capital spending to their depreciation expenses have climbed in recent years but are still below the ratios that preceded the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, according to Moody's Investors Service. The act hurt healthcare providers more than anticipated, and hospitals' capital spending plummeted, said Kay Sifferman, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody's. The median capital spending ratio was 138% in 2003 and the mean was 155%, up from a median of 128% and mean of 149% in 2002. In 1999, the first full year in which hospitals felt the effects of the Balanced Budget Act, the median was 141% and the mean was 166%, Moody's said. -- by Paul Barr
Capital spending rebounds after 1997 budget act
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