Ratings firms slam nonprofit hospital finances

Financial firms aren't happy with not-for-profit hospital performance, and are showing their ire by downgrading credit ratings.  According to new data from Moody's Investors Services, downgrades exceeded upgrades in the second quarter of 2007 by a 1.3-1 ratio. That included 12 downgrades and nine upgrades. For the first half of 2007, downgrades outpaced upgrades by a ratio of 1.4-to-1, though that's actually better than the 1.5-to-1 pace for the same period last year. Ratings for the first six months of 2007 represented $19.2 billion worth of outstanding hospital debt.

Why the continued censure from Wall Street? Analysts aren't happy with deteriorating nonprofit hospital performance and lack of liquidity. Also, four of the downgraded hospitals had taken on some large new debts.

To find out more about the downgrades:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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