Fitch changes not-for-profit hospital outlook to negative

As the recession deepens, Fitch has changed its outlook for the not-for-profit hospital sector to negative, from a previous status of stable. Fitch noted that the recession has hit hardest on hospitals that entered the economic downturn with weaker credit ratings.

As we have already noted, fewer patients are seeking healthcare, and more are unable to pay, which is stressing the not-for-profit hospitals even further. Worse still, budget deficits are piling up at both the state and federal levels, which could hurt hospitals that depend on publicly funded health plans.

To learn more about Fitch's rating change:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)