COVINGTON – Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘A+’ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) for St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1, (St. Tammany Health System) with positive outlook.
According to Fitch, “the affirmation of the ‘A+’ rating reflects strong operating performance that has helped support solid liquidity and leverage metrics even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Fitch further noted St. Tammany’s solid market share in a growing service area as well as its joint operating agreement with Ochsner Heath, which coordinates clinical services and operating income, supporting consistent volume and revenue growth.
The coronavirus pandemic figured into Fitch’s rating, as they note of STHS, “Fitch expects that the health system will continue to maintain a strong balance sheet despite pandemic-related pressures and ongoing capital projects, with leverage metrics that will remain consistent with the ‘aa’ category assessment throughout Fitch’s baseline scenario.”
STPH Board Chairman John Evans said, “STHS has worked hard to maintain our strong rating despite the pandemic and current economic outlook. Our board has been dedicated to position STHS for continued success into the future. This A+ Positive Outlook rating is one more step toward that goal.”
STHS President and CEO Joan Coffman added, “We are grateful to each and every colleague, physician, associate and partner that made this rating possible. Additionally, we thank Fitch for taking the time to understand our unique organization and our resolve to be good stewards of our resources in service of our mission caring for our community.”
Fitch has published a detailed explanation of the rating at https://www.fitchratings.com/research/us-public-finance/fitch-affirms-st-tammany-parish-hospital-service-dist-no-1-la-revs-at-a-outlook-positive-01-09-2020.