CHICAGO - A pair of recent surveys show that nearly half of nonprofit hospitals have postponed or significantly cut back on their capital budgets in light of economic woes, including increased difficulty in accessing the bond market.

Nine of 10 hospitals surveyed by the American Hospital Association said they were finding it harder "or even impossible" to access tax-exempt bonds and "other important sources of debt, such as banks and other financial institutions" in recent months, according to the AHA's recent survey entitled "Report on the Capital Crisis: Impact on Hospitals."

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