MORRISTOWN, NJ – DECEMBER 2019 – Credit rating agencies Moody’s and Standard &Poor’s (“S&P”) recently reaffirmed Atlantic Health System with some of the agencies’ highest marks for independent health care systems in New Jersey, both agencies highlighting Atlantic Health System’s continued strong financial performance.
For a third year in a row, Moody’s gave Atlantic Health System a rating of Aa3, among the highest in the state, while S&P affirmed its “AA-“ rating for Atlantic Health System for the fourth year in a row. Both agencies granted the organization an outlook of “stable.”
S&P noted that its rating reflected Atlantic Health System’s “very strong enterprise profile characterized by a leading market share, location in a demographically favorable region, and ongoing market expansion in northern New Jersey as (it) diversifies and increases its clinical sites of service.”
Moody’s attributed Atlantic Health System’s strength and stability to “a continuation of strong volume metrics as a leading provider of tertiary and quaternary services within the market,” as well as “a continued focus on strengthening of key high end service lines and expense control management.”
The high ratings actions by both agencies put Atlantic Health System in a favorable position to leverage its credit strength and allow 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.
“Through good stewardship of our resources, combined with a focus on value and providing high quality care, we’ve remained fiscally strong throughout the numerous changes in the health care landscape,” said Kevin Lenahan, senior vice president and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Atlantic Health System. “Our organization’s ability to plan strategically and bring those plans to fruition in ways that truly benefit our patients and communities is what sets us apart from other providers.”
How Atlantic Health System stayed strong
Both agencies noted several key points underpinning Atlantic Health System’s continued financial strength amid a changing health care field:
- S&P also highlighted Atlantic Health System’s diversification to offer more cost-effective care sites as part its population health initiatives. These sites include an expansion of urgent care through a joint venture with MedExpress, the completion of an electronic medical record across the system, and continued development of Atlantic Health System’s primary care and specialty physician groups, Primary Care Partners and Atlantic Medical Group
- Moody’s noted, that despite changes in the Medicare population, Atlantic Health System has kept healthy metrics by diversifying its revenue streams. The system also has a track record of not relying heavily on governmental aid
- S&P noted Atlantic Health System’s growth beyond its primary service area (Morris, Union, Sussex and Warren Counties) into a larger, 11-county area of about five million residents. Its primary service area has low unemployment and very strong wealth and income indicators. “(The system’s) market position is solid overall, in our opinion, with a leading, and in some cases dominant, market share,” the agency said.
About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System has a long-standing tradition of providing exceptional patient outcomes and experiences. Home to seven award-winning hospitals including Morristown Medical Center, the number one hospital in New Jersey according to U.S. News & World Report, Castle Connelly and Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals, the system has been ranked first in New Jersey in consumer preference by Monigle and first among health systems in New Jersey as a “best workplace” by both Modern Healthcare and Fortune Magazine.
Many of the system’s programs have received national accolades and designations, including Morristown Medical Center’s Cardiology and Heart Surgery program ranked among the top 30 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report; Morristown Medical Center’s Orthopedics program ranked among the top 35 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and Atlantic Health System’s Cancer Care program, New Jersey’s first and only National Cancer Institute National Community Oncology Research Program. Additionally, Atlantic Health System Neuroscience at Overlook Medical Center, working with Atlantic Mobile Health, was the first in the nation to deploy and use portable Telestroke technology in ambulances for routine pre-hospital assessment of stroke patients.
Powered by a passionate workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey, including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system provides care for the full continuum of health needs across a wide array of settings, including Atlantic Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,000 physicians and providers, 12 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, Atlantic Home Care and Hospice and Atlantic Anywhere’s Virtual Visits. Facilitating connections between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.
With a clear sense of purpose and an unparalleled culture, Atlantic Health System attracts top leaders in the field of health care, from CEO Brian Gragnolati, who is currently Chairman of the American Hospital Association, to the numerous team members who serve as leaders across national clinical associations and research entities.