CHICAGO - A nonprofit hospital's debt structure - particularly its variable-rate debt exposure and associated liquidity risks - is one of several credit factors that Moody's Investors Service will pay special attention to in 2009, the rating agency said in a report released yesterday.

Moody's identified three factors that pose particular risks as hospitals struggle with declining finance. According to the report, titled "Not-for-Profit Healthcare Rating Roadmap: Hospitals Under Stress, but Strong Management and Federal Stimulus May Mitigate Risks," the factors are debt structure; weaker market demand and declining cash flow margins; investment losses and weaker balance sheets; and problems accessing the capital market,

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