Moody's drops not-for-profits' ratings and outlooks

Moody's Investors Service has taken a steps that remind us that the healthcare financial crisis isn't exactly older. The agency dropped credit ratings for 19 non-for-profit hospitals and health systems, while upgrading only five, during the first three months of the year. Reasons for the downgrades, which have taken place with frightening regularity over the past several months, have traditionally included soft or falling patient demands, higher uncompensated and charity care costs and and poor investment returns.

Analysts dubbed this week's activity "less severe" than the prior quarter's 27 downgrades and four upgrades--and let's be happy for that at least!--but noted that ratings fell among some stronger hospitals and health systems. (Last year, during the final four months, downgrades were concentrated among players rated Baa or lower.)

To learn more about the ratings:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

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