CHICAGO — Standard & Poor's revised its outlook to positive from stable on Illinois-based Blessing Hospital's A-minus rating in recognition of solid operations.

The hospital's bonds were sold in 2007 through the city of Quincy.

The A-minus rating reflects Blessing's leading business position and stable and healthy unrestricted reserves as well as the hospital's solid operating performance supported in recent years by growing inpatient utilization trends as well as robust coverage.

"The positive outlook reflects stable and solid financial operations and healthy debt service coverage that should continue to improve as the overall debt service declines over the next several years," Standard & Poor's analyst Suzie Desai wrote in the May 19 report.

A healthy balance sheet is another contributing factor to the hospital's outlook change. The rating agency said some decline in unrestricted reserves over the remaining part of fiscal 2015 is expected, but management also expects unrestricted reserves to improve beginning in fiscal 2016.

"If Blessing can rebuild its unrestricted reserves starting in fiscal 2016 while maintaining its business position and operating profile, we could consider a higher rating," the rating agency wrote.

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