Moody’s Investors Service issued a report Friday affirming Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s A3 long-term bond rating and revised the outlook to positive from stable.
Moody’s is one of the country’s top credit-rating agencies, and giving such an upgrade has been rare during the economic downturn. In a recent report, Moody’s said it had downgraded 53 ratings in 2008, the most in the nonprofit hospital sector since 2001. During the fourth quarter, downgrades exceeded upgrades by a record 27 to four.
In the report, Moody’s noted that LMH’s strengths are its dominant market position in a favorable service area and a track record of strong operating results with nine years of increasing cash flow growth.
The report states, “LMH continued to achieve favorable operating results in recent years even as the hospital was in the process of constructing a new three-story patient tower, which is expected to be completed on time in spring 2009.”
The report also cited collaborative relationships with physicians, a rebound in surgical volumes, significant growth in the hospital’s relatively new nonsurgical cardiology program, favorable nonsurgical outpatient volume growth and a steady decline in patients’ average length of stay as factors that have positively affected operating performance.
LMH has an operating revenue base of just more than $150 million and is one of 72 A3-rated hospitals.