Standard & Poor's managing director of non-profit healthcare ratings has a generally positive outlook for healthcare facilities for the next couple of years. Martin Arrick, S&P's Managing Director, said in their annual conference many of the financial conditions of 2008 and 2009 have stabilized.
He added that S&P's upgrades outpaced downgrades by a significant margin in 2011. Many hospitals and systems that received downgrades in recent years have bounced back.
He observed that providers must negotiate a "new normal" of flat patient volumes and growth, which continues to pressure them to cut expenses. Also, the state governments will continue to cut Medicaid and other portions of their budgets that can affect the bottom lines of hospitals.
One thing that has yet to be determined is the affect health care reform will have on hospital's bottom line and how many new patients hospitals will see.
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