Fitch Ratings yesterday downgraded West Penn Allegheny Health System to BB-minus from BB and placed the credit on negative watch, while Standard & Poor's placed gave the health care provider on negative watch, affecting $758 million of outstanding debt.

The credit changes follow West Penn's announcement on Monday that it has $73 million fewer in earnings than previously reported. System officials along with West Penn's outside accounting firm have yet to determine over what period of time the $73 million pertains to. That could affect the system's current debt service ratio of 2.5 times as fewer funds available would change that calculation, according to Fitch analyst Jeff Schaub.

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