9 recent hospital credit downgrades

The following nine hospital and health system credit rating downgrades occurred in the past three months. They are listed in alphabetical order. 

1. Butler (Pa.) Health System — from “A+” to “A” (Fitch Ratings)
“The one-notch downgrade to the ‘A’ rating reflects BHS’s ongoing operational challenges that will constrain the system’s ability to easily recover from revenue dislocation stemming from the coronavirus pandemic,” Fitch said.

2. Grand View Hospital (Sellersville, Pa.) — from “A-” to “BBB+” (S&P Global Ratings)
“The downgrade reflects our view of GVH’s financial profile, particularly the hospital’s weakening operating performance highlighted by a trend of accelerating operating losses and declining maximum annual debt service coverage, with an increasing reliance on nonoperating income,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Wendy Towber.

3. Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.) — from “Aa1” to “Aa3” (Moody’s Investors Service)
“Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded to Aa3 from Aa1 the long-term rating and affirmed the VMIG 1 short-term rating of the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority Variable Rate Revenue Bonds, Meridian Health System Obligated Group Issue, Series 2003A in connection with issuance of a substitute letter of credit from TD Bank replacing the current LOC provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank,” Moody’s said. 

4. Hospital Sisters Health System (Springfield, Ill.) — from “AA-” to “A+” (Fitch Ratings)
“The downgrade reflects that HSHS has faced considerable operating pressures in the last two years, including the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic recession,” Fitch said

5. John Fitzgibbon Memorial Hospital (Marshall, Mo.) — from “B” to “B-” (Fitch Ratings)
“The one-notch downgrade reflects JFMH’s overall operational deterioration,” Fitch said.  “Despite some improvements in performance through six months of fiscal 2020 … JFMH’s unaudited 12-month fiscal 2020 results show a decline in profitability partly due to some continued operating challenges (i.e. higher-than-budgeted self-insurance claims and a high incidence of self-pay patients), but primarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

6. MarinHealth Medical Center (Greenbrae, Calif.) — from “A-” to “BBB+” (Fitch Ratings) 
“The downgrade of MH’s revenue bond rating and IDR to ‘BBB+’ is driven by greater than expected operating pressures in fiscal 2019 and weak operating performance leading up to the coronavirus pandemic,” Fitch said.  

7. Marion (Ind.) General Hospital — from “A+” to “A” (S&P Global Ratings)
“The lower rating reflects our view of MGH’s balance sheet deterioration following the issuance of the series 2020 bonds, including worsened maximum annual debt service coverage, debt burden, leverage, and unrestricted reserves to long-term debt,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Chloe Pickett.

8. Pioneers Memorial Healthcare (Brawley, Calif.) — from “BBB-” to “BB” (Fitch Ratings) 
“The two-notch downgrade to the ‘BB’ rating reflects [Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District’s] continued operating challenges leading up to the coronavirus pandemic that has limited PMHD’s overall financial flexibility,” Fitch said. 

9. South Shore Hospital (Weymouth, Mass.) — from “Baa1” to “Baa2” (Moody’s Investors Service)
“The downgrade to ‘Baa2’ reflects South Shore Hospital’s weak operating performance through fiscal 2020, continuing a trend of weaker performance that emerged pre-coronavirus, and expectations take some time to sustainably return margins to strong levels,” Moody’s said. 

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