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Fitch gives Memorial Hospital bonds an 'A'

GULFPORT — Fitch Ratings has affirmed at “A” two City of Gulfport, Mississippi bonds issued on behalf of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (MHG). The bonds are $25.3 million hospital revenue refunding & improvement bonds, series 1994A and $59.5 million hospital revenue bonds, series 2001A.

Fitch assigned the bonds a rating outlook of “stable.”

Fitch wrote: “The ‘A’ rating is supported by MHG’s low debt burden, strong balance sheet metrics, conservative capital structure and leading market position within Harrison County.

“Successful physician recruitment and integration and resultant patient volumes have stabilized MGH’s operations, which continue to generate debt service coverage at levels ahead of Fitch’s ‘A’ category median metrics.

“Heavy government payor concentration and a challenging economic environment present ongoing credit concerns. MHG received almost 60 percent of its gross revenues from government payors in fiscal 2010, and relies on significant state disproportionate share hospital (DSH) and upper payment limit (UPL) payments.”

MHG has identified increased capital needs over the near to medium term, which will constrain balance sheet growth and may be financed in part with additional debt.”

Source: Fitch Ratings

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