Meritus Health maintains favorable S&P rating

January 18, 2012 (Hagerstown, MD)—Meritus Health, the largest healthcare provider in Western Maryland, recently received a credit profile from Standard & Poor’s (S&P). S&P affirmed Meritus Health’s ‘BBB-‘ long-term rating with an outlook of stable. S&P based the outlook on Meritus Health’s financial metrics, stating in its report that “Meritus improved across a broad range of financial metrics in fiscal 2011, including operating margin, cash flow, debt service coverage, and days’ cash on hand, bolstering our belief that Meritus is successfully absorbing the large costs of its new replacement facility”.

Factors supporting the ‘BBB-‘ rating included an assessment of Meritus Health’s:

  • Near break-even results for the first five months of fiscal 2011;
  • Dominant market share in Washington County;
  • Successful completion and occupancy of the replacement hospital [Meritus Medical Center] on time and budget; and
  • Support from the Maryland rate system.

“I’m very pleased that Meritus Health has retained its rating. We have performed well over the past year, while making significant changes: occupying a new building, changing processes, and changing the strategy for healthcare delivery into the future,” said Raymond Grahe, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “We are well positioned for the future.”

Regarding Meritus Health’s stable outlook, S&P’s report stated, “We believe that Meritus’ ongoing cost efficiency and clinical quality efforts will allow for break-even or near break-even operating results”. Attached is a copy of the full report from Standard & Poor’s.


Meritus Health

Meritus Medical Center is perhaps its most easily recognized facility, but Meritus Health offers much more. For generations, Meritus Health has been responding to the specific needs of the region with the foresight of a true community partner by developing and sustaining a total healthcare system. Branches of care including primary care physician practices, specialists in disciplines from obstetrics to cardiology, and satellite services from diagnostics to durable medical equipment complement the hospital’s efforts to provide quality care across the spectrum.

Meritus Health is not just a hospital. That said, the new Meritus Medical Center does offer cutting-edge technology and services for inpatients and outpatients in a facility without a cold, clinical feel. Perhaps that is because care is provided by a multigenerational workforce from around our region: your friends and neighbors. Access to advanced diagnostics, treatment and services is right here, delivered by competent and caring, familiar faces.

The quality services offered include a respected regional trauma center, a cardiac catheterization lab, and a nationally-recognized joint replacement program. Patients seldom have a reason to “go down the road” to receive excellent medical care. Meritus Health is the largest healthcare provider in the region, and serves as a leader in the continued evolution of a comprehensive approach to wellness in Washington County and beyond.

For more information on Meritus Health, visit