ELIZABETH — Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, which is a national agency that evaluates the ability of entities to repay their debt, has raised its outlook for Trinitas Regional Medical Center to positive from stable outlook and affirmed its BBB- rating.
The Standard & Poor’s report cites the Medical Center’s “strong and growing cash and investment balances and stable earnings for the past three audited years with positive results expected again in 2012.” The report states that the rating agency “could consider a higher rating within the two-year outlook period if TRMC maintains cash at levels greater than outstanding debt and posts at least 2 times debt service coverage for the next two fiscal years.”
Described as “a safety net provider of health care,” Trinitas is the fifth highest recipient of charity care and health subsidy funding in New Jersey. These funds, however, “have proven to be a stable funding source to the hospital,” according to the report. In response to this challenge, Trinitas management has controlled the level of expenses since 2008. Further, the report cites the work of Trinitas Chief Financial Officer Karen Lumpp, who was hired in 2008 and “has presided over almost four years of improved and positive financial performance by being conservative and well disciplined.”
In addition, the report cites recent progress at Trinitas including construction of the $5.4 million Center for Regional Education funded entirely by philanthropy; progress on the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the completion of an energy improvement program partially funded by PSE&G.
“I am gratified that our efforts to improve care and reduce expenses have been recognized by Standard & Poor’s,” notes Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trinitas. “This upgrade is especially meaningful for our bond investors as it comes at a time when most hospitals in our region are experiencing financial challenges. I salute our Board of Trustees, our management staff, our 500 physicians and 2,700 employees for their many efforts to improve care in this challenging environment,” he adds.
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