BRADENTON, Fla. - Miami-Dade County expects to competitively price $101 million of 30-year general obligation bonds in July for the publicly owned Jackson Health System.
It will be the first tranche of $830 million of voter-approved GOs to be issued for modernizing numerous facilities in the JHS, which is governed by the Public Health Trust - a department of the county.
A finance committee approved the $101 million bond resolution Tuesday. Miami-Dade County, which issues debt for the trust, is expected to give final approval to all bond documents June 3 paving the way for pricing in late July with closing in early August.
Bond proceeds will be used for hospital renovations and upgrades, medical and technology equipment and software, new facilities, and related infrastructure projects.
The trust operates six hospitals, including the flagship Jackson Memorial Hospital, as well as two nursing homes, several primary care centers, and multiple specialty care centers. It also provides health services for the Miami-Dade County jail system, which is the eighth-largest in the country.
In total, JHS has 2,106 licensed hospital beds and 343 licensed nursing home beds. Jackson Memorial was the third-largest hospital in the country, according to Becker's Hospital Review, in 2013.
Trust officials could not be reached for details on the overall plan of financing schedule for the remainder of GO bonds.
The $803 million program will fund numerous facility upgrades, and additions to attract new patients and bring medical services to neighborhoods.
Some of the big-ticket items being planned are new neighborhood urgent care centers, a children's ambulatory center to complement the larger hospital, emergency and operating room upgrades, inpatient unit renovations, and upgrading electronic medical records.
The county has created the Jackson Health System general obligation bond citizens' advisory committee to advise the County Commission, Public Health Trust, and the county mayor on the bond program
The GO bonds will provide funding for lagging capital needs to make improvements and keep facilities competitive because the system's revenues have not kept up with expenses, hospital officials have said.
The system suffered large deficits in prior years that led to the appointment of a financial oversight panel, which was dissolved in early 2013.
Those financial problems led to an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last September, the SEC charged the Health Trust with defrauding investors by failing to disclose its financial problems before a 2009 bond offering.
The trust agreed to a cease and desist order barring it from future violations of securities laws though it did not admit or deny the SEC's findings. No fine was assessed by the SEC, which said the trust cooperated with the investigation and took remedial action such as hiring outside consultants.
Public Financial Management Inc., is financial advisor for the 2014 bonds.
Hogan Lovells US LLP and Steve E. Bullock PA are co-bond counsel. Hunton & Williams LLP and Thomas H. Williams Jr. PL are co-disclosure counsel.
Miami-Dade has $347.4 million of outstanding revenue bonds issued on behalf of the Public Health Trust secured by a dedicated health care sales tax and the county's covenant to budget and appropriate legally-available non-ad valorem revenues.
The revenue bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service and A-plus by Standard & Poor's.