CMH credit rating upgraded to A-

Better bond rating reduces costs for community hospital

Hospital with helipad in Astoria, Oregon

Columbia Memorial Hospital

ASTORIA, Ore. – Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) made a big stride this month to secure affordable healthcare for the future.

Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies for businesses in the United States, recently upgraded its rating of Columbia Memorial Hospital’s (CMH) revenue bonds and Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to an A-, up from a BBB-. The IDR affects more than $45 million in long-term debt. Based on its rating of A-, Fitch says the financial outlook for CMH is stable.

According to Fitch, CMH earned an A- for its strong net leverage position and robust operating profitability levels, which Fitch expects to continue. “Improving our bond rating to an A- is great news and something we’ve spent a lot of time working on. Our bond rating is like your personal credit score, it’s based on our financial history and projections for the future,” said CMH CEO Erik Thorsen.

“Across the nation, small, rural hospitals are struggling and many are no longer viable for their communities. Because CMH is doing well financially, we will be able to continue serving the healthcare needs of our community.”

Fitch upgraded CMH’s bond rating based on the hospital’s operating margins, growing physician base, effective cost controls, enhanced Medicare reimbursement, and its affiliation with Oregon Health & Science University.

“This is a proud moment for CMH and a direct result of all the hard work from our caregivers,” said Zach Schmitt, CMH’s chief financial officer. “The upgrade in our bond rating will allow CMH to continue to serve our community by allowing access to cheaper capital, newer technology, and investment back into the community.”