Fitch Ratings said it has downgraded West Penn Allegheny Health System's (WPAHS) approximately $726 million series 2007A health system revenue bonds issued by the Allegheny County Hospital Development Authority to C from CCC.

The rating action follows a press report that WPAHS, Highmark Inc., and WPAHS bondholders have tentatively agreed to a plan that would reduce the amount owed to bondholders and prevent a bankruptcy filing by WPAHS. Highmark and WPAHS confirm only that discussions with bondholders are underway. Fitch notes that information from management is limited due to the terms of a nondisclosure agreement among the parties.

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