A national credit rating agency has elevated Owensboro Health’s bond rating outlook, marking the health system’s second upgrade in 2019. On July 31, Moody’s Investor Service revised Owensboro Health’s outlook from stable to positive and affirmed the system’s Baa3 rating. Fitch Ratings announced a similar upgrade to Owensboro Health’s outlook earlier this year.
In a July news release, New York-based Moody’s cited several reasons for Owensboro Health’s positive outlook, including a conservative capital spending plan, avoidance of new debt and regular payments on existing debt. The release also reflects the agency’s expectation that Owensboro Health will continue to maintain healthy operating margins.
“The upgrade to our outlook by one of the nation’s leading investment agencies confirms that Owensboro Health is building a strong financial foundation for this organization, the 4,300 team members who work here, and the communities in Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana that rely on us for their healthcare services,” said Greg Strahan, president and chief executive officer of Owensboro Health. “Despite uncertainty in the healthcare market, Owensboro Health is establishing a base of financial stability that will enable us to explore new technology, recruit outstanding healthcare providers to this region, increase accessibility to underserved communities and cultivate programs that improve the health of the people we serve.”
The Moody’s announcement also maintains Owensboro Health’s Baa3 rating, citing strong operating performance and the health system’s leading market position among its positive indicators.
“The overall picture of Owensboro Health’s financial health is extremely positive, and we are optimistic that, due to the strong operational and management practices in place, future ratings will reflect even more good news,” said John Hackbarth, chief financial officer of Owensboro Health. “Every day, we emphasize lowering costs and improving value for our patients throughout the health system, and our team members are achieving exciting, measurable results.”
Hackbarth added that Owensboro Health will continue its strategic approach to managing costs and investments.
“Unlike for-profit hospitals that reward shareholders, Owensboro Health’s strong financial performance is reinvested in local jobs, increased wages, additional healthcare spending and community partnerships,” Hackbarth added.