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'Big Three' Credit Rating Agencies Affirm SCL Health High Position

November 07, 2014

Media Contact:
SCL Health
Brian Newsome, Director of Public Affairs

'Big Three' Credit Rating Agencies Affirm SCL Health's High Position
Positive ratings come amid industry financial challenges

DENVER (November 7, 2014) – The “Big Three” credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service – have affirmed SCL Health’s top-tier ratings, citing the health system’s operating performance and preparedness for health reform as key strengths.

The ratings are:

  • AA-  – Standard & Poor’s
  • AA-  – Fitch
  • Aa3  – Moody’s

Specifically, the credit agencies recognized SCL Health for:

  • Strong management and operating performance despite financial challenges.
  • Dominant or leading market share in most of its markets.
  • Geographic diversity with hospitals and clinics across Colorado, Kansas and Montana.
  • A strong and stable balance sheet.
  • Strategic partnerships and business decisions that reflect a move toward best practices and anticipated changes in healthcare.

Standard & Poor’s specifically cited SCL Health’s preparedness and readiness for health reform, saying that they “lead us (S&P) to believe that management has positioned itself appropriately for the coming changes.”

Moody’s said “the organization’s recent history of stable performance and favorable management practices” supported its decision.

“At SCL Health we have worked tirelessly to execute on our operational priorities year after year and to thoughtfully pursue strategic partnerships,” said SCL Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lydia Jumonville. “We are pleased to see this consistency and hard work recognized by the ratings agencies.”

The outlook for SCL Health was also affirmed by all three organizations. Fitch and S&P assigned SCL Health a “stable” outlook, while Moody’s issued a “negative” one. Moody’s has issued a negative outlook for the not-for-profit hospital sector as a whole.

“While we are happy to have our ratings affirmed, we must remain intense and focused,” said SCL Health President and CEO Mike Slubowski. “Our system is not immune to the struggles all hospitals and health systems face, and the operational strength we’ve demonstrated up until now will be even more important as we look to the future.”

For the complete reports:

About SCL Health
SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve, especially the poor and vulnerable. Our $2.4 billion health network aspires to provide comprehensive, coordinated care through our eight hospitals, more than 160 physician clinics, home healthcare, hospice, mental healthcare, and safety-net services in three states – Colorado, Kansas and Montana. We proudly partner with other organizations to improve quality and the patient experience. SCL Health provides more than $226 million a year in community benefit. SCL Health was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, who opened their first hospital in 1864. To learn more, visit www.sclhealth.org.