Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Heartland Regional Medical Center’s underlying rating by one notch to A1, citing strong operating profitability.

The action affects $160.5 million of debt issued through the St. Joseph Industrial Development Authority. The hospital’s operating profit and cash-flow generation have done exceptionally well in recent years despite its dependence on a high government payor mix and higher demand for uncompensated care.

“We believe HRMC is strategically well-positioned, given its dominant market share, comprehensive regional strategy, and capital investments in its facilities and information technology to continue to produce favorable cash flow and maintain solid leverage and balance sheet measures,” analysts wrote.

The hospital generated $528 million in operating revenue and saw 19,183 admissions in fiscal 2011. Medicare and Medicaid accounted for 64% of gross revenues.

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