Six California hospitals and health systems won approval to refinance or convert a total of $4.6 billion in debt affected by recent credit turmoil at an emergency meeting of the California Health Facilities Financing Authority. Chuck Samuels, counsel for the National Association of Health and Educational Facilities Finance Authorities, said Californias board is among many that have moved to expedite refinancing for tax-exempt hospitals and systems that hope to exit volatile debt markets.
Californias authority cleared Catholic Healthcare West, a 39-hospital system based in San Francisco, to refund up to $2.2 billion to restructure auction- or variable-rate debt. Other refinancing approved by the board included: Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, a 417-bed hospital in Newport Beach, $747 million; Lucile Salter Packard Childrens Hospital, a 264-bed hospital in Palo Alto, $69 million; Scripps Health, a four-hospital system in San Diego, $314 million; Stanford Hospitals and Clinics, a Palo Alto-based 466-bed hospital, $665 million; and Sutter Health, a 22-hospital system in Sacramento, $625 million. -- by Melanie Evans