Standard & Poor's upgraded nine not-for-profit hospitals and health systems and downgraded seven in the first quarter, which reflects operating strength among many providers “despite economic pressures and longer-term industry concerns,” the ratings agency said in a newly released report. Downgrades exceeded upgrades each of the past three years, significantly so in 2008, according to the report.
S&P notes operating strength among not-for-profits
Cost cuts and higher rates from private insurers contributed to operating gains for many hospitals and health systems, according to the report, which also noted improved liquidity thanks to investment gains. Hospitals and health systems downgraded by Standard & Poor's suffered from operating losses, worsening liquidity and fewer patients.
The report said that it's unclear after one quarter if the favorable trend will continue and noted analysts' continued concerns about the “significant uncertainties” of health reform's impact on not-for-profit hospitals.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.