Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its long-term rating and underlying rating to AA-minus from A on North Carolina Medical Care Commission's $35.41 million series 2004A and $37.84 million series 2011A bonds, issued for Cleveland County HealthCare System (CCHS), due to guarantee agreements with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority (CMHA), effective March 11, 2013.

The guarantees are unconditional, parity instruments on par with CMHA's other rated debt. CMHA, which does business as Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), is currently rated AA-minus/stable.

"Under the agreements, the trustee will the check sufficiency of funds for principal and interest on each Dec. 25 and June 25," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Liz Sweeney. "In the event of a shortfall, the trustee will immediately notify CMHA, which has promised to pay the shortfall on the next business day after notice. Payment dates are Jan. 1 and July 1," said Sweeney.

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