Standard & Poor’s has revised AA-plus rated Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s outlook to negative from stable due to a weakened balance sheet ahead of this week’s sale of $455 million of fixed-rate bonds through the Illinois Finance Authority.

“The negative outlook reflects NMH’s weakened balance sheet following some strain in financial operating performance in 2008 expected from the opening of the new Prentice Women’s Hospital, and recent unfavorable investment performance that has affected many organizations in the current recession,” analyst Brian Williamson said. “These factors also have led to lower pro forma maximum annual debt service coverage than historical norms when including an impairment loss.”

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