Health & Wellness

S&P, Moody's Give Atlantic Health System Highest Health System Rating in NJ


MORRISTOWN, NJ - Atlantic Health System, a leading health care delivery system in New Jersey, is once again the highest-rated New Jersey based system rated by credit agencies Moody’s and S&P.

Moody’s raised its rating for the health care organization from A1 to Aa3, the highest rating among all health care systems in New Jersey, with an outlook of “stable.” The rating upgrade reflects Atlantic Health System’s continued stability of operating performance and financial growth of the balance sheet, as well as its favorable market position and the “wide array” of services it provides.

S&P affirmed its “AA-“ rating for Atlantic Health System due to its strong presence in the region and increased system diversity among its six hospitals and a network of community-based physicians throughout northern and central New Jersey. Along with only one other organization, this is the highest rating given to health systems in NJ by S&P. Atlantic Health System’s outlook with S&P remained stable.

Sign Up for E-News

The ratings actions by both agencies put the system in a favorable position to leverage its credit strength and allows the system to issue or refinance its debt at more favorable interest rates. Atlantic Health System may pay less on interest on its bonds and allow the organization to invest more of its money in patient care initiatives, including technology, skilled staff and infrastructure.

“These ratings further demonstrate the value of developing our connections to the communities we serve through wise growth, investment in innovation and continuously improving care, said Kevin Lenahan, senior vice president and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Atlantic Health System. “The rating upgrade puts us on even better footing to fulfill the health care needs of our communities.”

Moody’s also highlighted Atlantic Health System’s ability to reach agreements in many of its host communities on fair-share community contributions in response to municipalities’ review of the tax-exempt status of hospitals and other facilities.

“A key credit strength of the system speaks to management's ability to navigate recent state and local budget challenges quickly and proactively,” Moody’s said in its rating.

S&P highlighted “AHS’ focus is on continued development of population health infrastructure and strategies to drive growth to the organization.” This includes increased integration between owned and independent hospitals, Atlantic Medical Group, community based physicians, and payers.

The credit agencies noted the following among the reasons for Atlantic Health System’s enviable ratings and outlook:

  • -- Atlantic Health System is a large multi-site organization with more than $2.5 billion in revenue and 100,000 total admissions (including observation stays and admissions)
  • -- The strong presence of the system in the region, including the growth of the system. The agencies noted the acquisition of Hackettstown Medical Center in April 2016, as well as Atlantic Health System’s participation in the Mid Jersey Health Alliance with Hunterdon Healthcare System, which coordinates care and offers expanded clinical services in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and Warren counties
  • -- The rapid growth and increased integration of Atlantic Medical Group, which now includes more than 900 community-based physicians and other providers
  • -- Continued growth in operating margins, cash measures and debt leverage measures

S&P noted Atlantic Health System’s significant additions of several key leadership roles covering patient experience, integrated care delivery, and innovations and technology following the addition of President and CEO Brian Gragnolati in 2015. The agency also highlighted Gragnolati recently being named chair-elect designate of the American Hospital Association. He will assume the board chairmanship in 2019.

Among other successes reported to the credit agencies has been the performance of the two accountable care organizations (ACOs) affiliated with Atlantic Health System – Atlantic ACO and Optimus Healthcare Partners. Both ACOs produced shared savings for Medicare.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at or go ...

Millburn Police Investigating Theft at Louis Vuitton Store

March 13, 2018

On March 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer McMillan stopped a 2003 Acura 3.2 on Parsonage Hill/Passaic for having no front plate and tinted windows. The investigation led to the arrest of 33 year old Horace Hall Jr of Newark for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Hall Jr was released on a summons.

On March 6, 2018 Millburn Police ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Mismanagement At Presby Threatens the Future of the Garden

March 22, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is with concern that I bring this subject to the attention to all who care and treasure the Presby Memorial Iris Garden, which along with the cherry trees of Branch Brook Park is one of the crown jewels of the Essex County Park System.  This historic garden founded 90 years ago by Frank Presby on  Upper Mt. Ave. is known internationally for its collection which ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, March 26, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Tue, March 27, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Thu, January 14, 12:00 AM


How to Solve Our Human Problems

Class Meditation Religious

Millburn Republican Committee Names Nominee for Township Committee Seat

March 22, 2018



Last Monday, at a meeting of the Millburn-Short Hills Republican County Committee, Jodi Rosenberg was endorsed  by acclamation to run for the single open seat on the Township Committee in the 2018 election.  Jodi, who currently serves as Deputy  Mayor, is ...

Paper Mill Playhouse Wins Two People’s Choice Awards

Paper Mill Playhouse Wins TWO People’s Choice Awards

Paper Mill Playhouse is most honored organization in the award’s ten-year history

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is pleased to announce it has won two, 2018 Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice ...

All-Star Basketball Event Coming to Millburn

Millburn All Stars vs. Pros – Saturday March 24, 6:00 pm

Community Event at Millburn High School

On Saturday, March 24th, the Millburn High School Senior Celebration 2018 Committee is partnering with Dreams for Kids, Inc., to present Millburn All-Stars vs. Pros.

At the All-Star Basketball event, a team of NFL players will take on teams from the Millburn/Short Hills ...