Standard & Poor’s said it would maintain its A rating and stable outlook on Fargo-based MeritCare Health System after it was forced to evacuate all patients and workers from one of its hospitals due to rising floodwaters in the Red River.
On March 26 the threat of flooding prompted the evacuation of MeritCare Hospital, one of several facilities owned and operated by the health care system. None of MeritCare’s buildings, including the hospital, ended up being damaged by the waters, according to Standard & Poor’s analysts. The hospital had returned to full operations as of early April.
MeritCare has business interruption insurance — important to maintain debt payments — and is expected to receive some Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to help recover some costs of the evacuation and other problems.
“Standard & Poor’s does not expect a rating impact at this time, but will continue to monitor potential costs and related business-interruption insurance payments,” analysts said.
MeritCare operates two acute-care hospitals as well as several other medical centers, surgery centers, outpatient facilities, and a 450-member physician group, and a number of other health-care related businesses.
Its primary service area is Cass County, N.D., and Clay County, Minn., though it also serves 17 surrounding counties