S&P Reaffirms EMHS Bond Rating

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) today reaffirmed its ‘BBB’ long-term rating for EMHS. S&P also adjusted its outlook for the system from stable to negative, citing operating performance at some EMHS member hospitals. At the same time, S&P stated that they recognize year-to-date operating and net earnings are solidly positive due to reduced depreciation expense after a revaluation of physical assets, increased revenue from EMHS’ investment portfolio restructuring, and the benefit of prior year settlements under MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

S&P further stated that the ‘BBB’ rating reflects EMHS' healthy enterprise profile in the northern two-thirds of Maine, and that the acquisition of Mercy Hospital in Portland broadened the system to statewide coverage.

EMHS senior vice president and chief financial officer Tony Filer, said he is pleased that S&P reaffirmed the system’s ‘BBB’ rating, and looks forward to demonstrating that a negative outlook is not warranted. “While these continue to be challenging times for healthcare providers in Maine and throughout our nation, EMHS has a proactive five-year strategy that is both innovative and forward-thinking. We are building an enterprise-wide electronic health records system, organizing our more than a thousand employed providers into a single medical group, and continuing to advance our very successful population health model.” Additionally, Filer stated overall EMHS leadership remains confident in the system’s ability to deliver increasingly positive outcomes in the months and years ahead.

Bond ratings are based on past performance and are not an assessment of current or future performance. Bond ratings are important when organizations plan to go to market to borrow capital funds. EMHS and its members have no plans to go to the bond market in the foreseeable future. In June of this year, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded EMHS credit rating to ‘Ba1’ with a negative outlook.
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