CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: 2012 Outlook: Nonprofit Hospitals and Healthcare Systems
U.S. not-for-profit hospitals should be able maintain their profits and offset constrained reimbursement increases and weak patient volumes in the coming year, according to Fitch Ratings in its 2012 outlook report. Beyond next year, however, the operating environment for not for profit health care providers becomes more challenging.
Capital spending is expected to be more constrained in the coming year as providers look to improve throughput and move more clinical services into lower cost outpatient settings. Affiliations and M&A activity also figures to increase in 2012.
One development that may prompt Fitch to revise its Outlook on the not-for-profit health care sector to Negative in 2012 is if reimbursement pressures eat into profitability at greater rate than the sector's ability to improve operating efficiencies.
From a ratings standpoint, Fitch expects affirmations to dominate rating actions among not-for-profit hospitals next year. However, rating changes that do occur are more likely to be downgrades than upgrades. Most at risk are likely to be lower rated hospitals and health systems that do not have the size, scale or financial resources to keep pace with the recession's negative impact on volumes and modest increases in reimbursement rates.
Fitch will be discussing its outlook in greater detail during a conference call to be held later today (separate press release contains the dial-in details).
The report, '2012 Outlook: Nonprofit Hospitals and Healthcare Systems', is available at 'www.fitchratings.com' or by clicking on the above link.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'
Sandro Scenga, +1-212-908-0278
Media Relations, New York
Jim LeBuhn, +1-312-368-2059
70 W. Madison
Chicago, IL 60602
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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Hospitals Professional Services Finance