Rush U. gets ratings upgrade, helping $400M debt issue

Rush University Medical Center got some great news as it geared up to issue $400 million in debt to help fund its $1 billion capital spending campaign. Last week, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service upgraded the outlook on the Rush University Medical Center Obligated Group, a vehicle that allows it to finance projects and borrow money cooperatively with Rush North Shore Medical Center and Rush-Copley Medical Center. Moody's issued the upgrade based on the medical center's improving financial picture.

Not only will the Moody's nod help Rush with its offering, it also stands to benefit when it turns over Rush North Shore and its $55 million in debt to Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. Evanston Northwestern plans to buy Rush North Shore for $95 million. This transaction will improve the medical center's debt profile as well.

Rush plans to use this and subsequent borrowings to finance its ongoing capital improvement campaign, which should run through 2016. New projects include a new 314-bed patient-care tower with all private rooms, an orthopedic ambulatory-care building and a new parking garage.

To learn more about Rush's plans:
- read this Chicago Tribune piece

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