S & P, Fitch Upgrade CCHC Bond Rating

(Hyannis, Feb. 10, 2012) Cape Cod Healthcare is pleased to announce that two prominent bond rating services have upgraded their long-term ratings for CCHC. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services changed its outlook to “positive” from “stable” and affirmed its ‘BBB+’ long-term rating for CCHC. Fitch Rating Services also upgraded its long-term rating for CCHC to “BBB+ with stable outlook” from “BBB with positive outlook”. Both organizations are global rating agencies dedicated to providing value through independent and prospective credit opinions, research and data. The upgrades were announced in separate press releases distributed this week. 

“CCHC’s Board, Management, Physicians and Staff all worked very hard to contribute to the improved financial performance that resulted in these upgrades,” said Michael Lauf, President and CEO, Cape Cod Healthcare. “The entire organization has had to be very thoughtful over the past three-plus years to put us on better financial footing by focusing on expense control and improvements in productivity and efficiency. I’m proud of the work and dedication from our entire team.” 

The improved financial position has enabled CCHC to invest over $100 million back into the system and the community over the past three years, including projects and programs that have had a direct impact on improved patient access and quality, such as: 

  • The Clark Cancer Center at Falmouth Hospital
  • The Seifer Women’s Health and Imaging Center at Falmouth Hospital
  • The Wilkens Outpatient Medical Complex in Hyannis
  • The Stoneman Outpatient Center in Sandwich
  • Investments in electronic medical record (EMR) and other IT systems
  • Physician recruitment and retention

“These improved financial ratings allow us to borrow at lower interest costs, so we can continue to invest in the system and the community,” explained Michael Connors, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, CCHC.  “It also puts us in a stronger position in terms of bracing for changes that will take affect with national healthcare reform. Cape Cod Healthcare, for example, is scheduled to see over $90 million in Medicare cuts over the next eight years.” 

Lauf cautioned that while the upgrades represent tremendous news, CCHC must remain diligent about operating in a financially sustainable way going forward. 

“We must stay sharply focused on the priorities that have helped lead us to this better financial position,” he said, “including quality, patient safety, improving access, physician partnerships, clinical integration and information technology. 

“While we are pleased by these bond-rating upgrades,” Lauf added, “the healthcare landscape is changing dramatically. Both government payers and private insurers are focused on reducing expenses and limiting increases in contract values. We are still in the midst of one of the most difficult economic periods in decades. And no one is certain about the overall economic impact of healthcare reform.” 

“We must continue to control costs, reduce expenses, and become more efficient in everything we do,” he said, “while always maintaining our high level of quality. We will always take our role of being the safety net for the Cape Cod community very seriously. We take care of everyone regardless of ability to pay. These ratings upgrades help us with our mission. It’s a testament to the great work of the many people of Cape Cod Healthcare.” 

Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of health care services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,500 employees and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two-acute care hospitals, the largest home health services agency on the Cape (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and numerous health programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare’s web site at www.capecodhealth.org. Cape Cod Healthcare. We’re taking good care of you.

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