Fitch Ratings downgraded bond insurer Ambac Financial Group by two notches to AA from AAA. The ratings remain on rating watch negative and follow Ambacs decision to suspend efforts to raise $1 billion in capital. Fitch placed Ambac on rating watch in December 2007 because of a capital shortfall of $1 billion at the crucial AAA rating level. Fitch said in a news release that the decision reflects, among other things, the significant uncertainty with respect to the companys franchise, business model and strategic direction. Ambac announced in a news release that it scuttled plans to raise equity capital to bolster its position because of market conditions and other factors, such as the recent actions of certain rating agencies.
The Joint Commission is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its national patient-safety goals. Participants can review the 2009 goals and proposed requirements for implementation and submit comments through an online survey until Feb. 27. The draft changes include measures under the commissions current goals including patient identification, safe use of medications, hospital-acquired infections, medication reconciliation and patient involvement.
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