Wellforce Receives BBB+ Rating, Stable Outlook from Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings
BURLINGTON, Mass., Jan. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Wellforce announced that it received a BBB+ rating, stable outlook from Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings for its $418 million in new bonds and efforts to refinance the health system.
The rating agency S&P – in their first review of Wellforce as an obligated group – noted that Wellforce had "a solid improvement in its financial performance in fiscal 2018." S&P also commented on the health system's strong balance sheet, its improved market share and its steps toward a more integrated model of operations, creating greater opportunities for operational synergies. Fitch Ratings further noted, "the rating at the upper end of the 'BBB' category also reflects the expectation that Wellforce's performance will continue to improve."
"This is a strong rating for Wellforce as we plan to go to the bond market to refinance debt and issue new bonds for important capital projects at MelroseWakefield Healthcare and Tufts Medical Center," said Susan Green, Wellforce Chief Financial Officer. "Our members have done an exceptional job working together to create operational synergies and to improve their operating performance in the very first full year of operating as a three hospital system."
S&P and Fitch Ratings also upgraded from BBB to BBB+ the existing long-term ratings and SPUR on Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital's outstanding bonds.
Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center, Circle Health, MelroseWakefield Healthcare and Home Health Foundation. Wellforce provides hospitals and physicians with a better option for collaboration. Our system brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Members are committed to delivering care close to the patient and with the greatest value. Wellforce includes 2,400 physicians, 12,000 employees, four community hospital campuses, one academic medical center, a children's hospital, home health and hospice services, and $2 billion in revenue.