Standard & Poor’s announces stable outlook for MSHA

1/23/2014


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Standard & Poor’s recently reported that the financial services agency has affirmed Mountain States Health Alliance’s (MSHA) bond rating at BBB+, with a stable outlook. According to Standard & Poor’s, “The BBB+ rating reflects excellent business position, strong management and governance and continued strong financial performance.”

“Given the recent downgrade of the entire hospital industry by the major rating agencies, we are pleased that Standard and Poor’s recognizes the relative strength of Mountain States Health Alliance,” said Alan Levine, MSHA’s President and CEO. “As patient volumes have declined throughout the industry, and as revenues have been cut, prudent financial stewardship, focused management of expenses and sound capital investment going forward are key to our financial ratings success.

“Our stable outlook is a snapshot but can change based on market conditions – which are very challenging right now. We are committed to being agile and responding appropriately to ensure our creditors and stakeholders remain confident going forward.” 

The report acknowledges the steps Mountain States has taken to ensure quality and cost-effectiveness.  It also addresses the continued decline of reimbursement from both government and commercial sources, and like other health care systems, MSHA continues to incur sizable costs to transform processes in order to succeed in the changing health care landscape under the Affordable Care Act.

“The Board of Mountain States Health Alliance takes an active role in ensuring sound management of the capital and financial resources of our community health system,” said Clem Wilkes, Chairman of the MSHA Board of Trustees. “We’re grateful for the hard work Standard & Poor’s has done, and remain committed to sustaining our bondholders’ confidence in our financial plan.

“We all know how difficult the operating environment is for hospital systems, and the effect this can have on our ratings going forward. We believe that reducing expenses where possible while investing in our high-quality services will keep us on a path to success for our community.”

An online article posted on HealthLeaders.com offers further insight into bond ratings and pressures felt by smaller, rural hospitals: (http://bit.ly/1cYKyHu).

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