The Spartanburg Regional Health System was downgraded last week to A-plus from AA-minus by Fitch Ratings as a new facility has failed to fill beds as anticipated.

In October 2008, the system opened a 48-bed, long-term, acute care center to complement its main 588-bed hospital. But patient volume at the Village Hospital at Pelham was lower than expected and the new facility has been losing money.

In 2009, Pelham had less than half the total patients it initially estimated and reported a $19 million operating loss. Fitch said the losses are expected to continue into fiscal 2011.

Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit to A from A-plus in March based on the low patient numbers. The system is the largest health care provider in Spartanburg County, with about two-thirds of the market. It has $216.6 million of debt outstanding, including about $110 million of variable-rate debt.

Fitch downgraded Spartanburg County to AA-minus from AA in March.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.