Fitch Ratings raised the Rush University Medical Center Obligated Group one notch to A in recognition of its consistently strong profitability and the completion of its new patient tower, eliminating construction risks on the credit.

The action affects $558 million of debt issued through the Illinois Finance Authority in 2006, 2008 and 2009. The outlook on the credit is stable.

Rush operates three acute-care hospitals — Rush University Medical Center, located in Chicago’s near west side medical district, Rush Oak Park Hospital just west of Chicago, and Rush-Copley Medical in Aurora.

Rush also operates a medical university, research facilities, a physician group practice with over 400 physicians and a rehabilitation/skilled nursing facility.

Combined, the facilities reported total revenues of $1.74 billion in fiscal 2011.

“The completion of the ‘campus transformation’ project significantly reduces the development and financial risk assumed by the corporation and should allow for growth in balance sheet liquidity due to lower future capital spending requirements,” Fitch wrote. The new $1 billion project opened in January.

At March 31, 2012, Rush’s unrestricted cash and investments totaled $573.2 million, which translates into 135.4 days’ cash on hand.

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