CHICAGO — Moody's Investors Service revised its outlook on Rush University Medical Center Obligated Group's A2 rating to positive from stable due to good operating margins.

The action impacts about $558 million of rated debt issued through the Illinois Finance Authority.

"The outlook is revised to positive from stable reflecting our belief that if Rush continues to maintain good operating margins and improves balance sheet ratios as expected, an upgrade may be warranted," Moody's wrote.

The rating reflects Rush's track record of favorable financial performance with a track record for profitability, maintenance of adequate debt coverage and future manageable capital spending plans since the completion of its new patient tower at the Rush flagship campus early last year.

Analysts said Rush's challenges include a very competitive local marketplace with a number of prominent academic medical center competitors located in the area around its Chicago base. Rush also is exposed to state of Illinois' budget woes due to its high percentage — 16.9% — of gross revenues that come from Medicaid.

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