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

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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.

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Westfield

Union County Daughters of Ireland Raise More Than $3,500 with Cranford Bar Crawl

September 19, 2017

CRANFORD, NJ – Union County’s women of Irish descent are coming together to build relationships, network and raise money for young women of Irish heritage.

Two Clark women, Kate Mooney and Lori Connolly, teamed up last April to start the Union County Daughters of Ireland. They were inspired by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, a group of which Mooney’s father is a proud ...

Linda Habgood Will Get the Job Done!

September 22, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I encourage the residents of Westfield’s 1st Ward to support the candidacy of Linda Habgood for town council. 

I’ve known Linda for 25 years and believe that her character, integrity, determination, and professional and community experience will serve the 1st Ward and the town extremely ...

Ward 2 Candidate Describes Road Safety Concerns

September 23, 2017

Dear Editor:

Summer is becoming a memory, school starts again for our children, and it is a time of new beginnings. For me, the campaign to become a second ward town councilman accelerates into full swing.

I have spent the last several months canvassing my ward, which encompasses Washington and part of Wilson school districts as well as a swath below South Avenue, listening to concerns ...

Upcoming Events

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Sun, September 24, 10:00 AM

Westfield

FestiFall Street Fair

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

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Sun, September 24, 11:00 AM

Trailside Nature and Science Center , Mountainside

36th Annual Harvest Festival at Trailside

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Sun, September 24, 1:00 PM

Open House, Westfield

Open House - Sunday 9/24, 1-4pm @ 113 Summit Ct, ...

Real Estate

Wardlaw Hartridge Students Participate in Community Service Projects

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On the following Saturday, Sept. 16, nine students and their parents took part in our first Service Learning Day at the Highlands Long Term ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Home Burglary Reported & More

September 20, 2017

September 14, 2017 8:50 a.m.

A resident of the 1000 block of Harding Street reports a theft to their motor vehicles while parked in the driveway of their residence. The vehicles were left unsecured during these incidents. Unknown actor(s) entered the one vehicle, a silver-colored Nissan Pathfinder, and removed approximately $5 in US coin currency. Actor(s) also entered a Nissan Maxima and ...

Meet Jane Hoffman

Name: Jane Hoffman

Years in Westfield: She’s a lifer!

Family:

Christian Hoffman

Avery, 9

Claire, 8

Blythe, 7

Foster kids in New Jersey couldn’t dream of a better advocate than Westfield’s own Jane Hoffman, founder of A Birthday Wish. The big-hearted wife and mother of three ultimately left a career in finance to start the nonprofit, which makes ...

Dog Lost in Westfield

UPDATE: Juliet was found safe and has been reunited with her owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Juliet, a boxer, was last spotted at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday by the south side firehouse in Westfield on Central Avenue. 

If you see her, please call 908-380-3319.

Free Pass to School Events for Westfield Senior Citizens

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Westfield Area YMCA Celebrates International Dot Day in Early Learning Programs

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Op Ed: High Schools Should Teach Students CPR

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You walked through the halls together. You sat together at lunch. You couldn’t wait to go to college together. But all of it was destroyed by one minute of that day. One minute she was smiling. The next she was on the floor, pale, and lifeless. I couldn’t save her. Everyone gathered around her as she choked, no one knew what to do. I lost my best friend that day because my education ...

Whether You’re Selling Your Home or Want More Peace

Realtors always advise home sellers to eliminate clutter when selling their homes because it makes a remarkable difference. A clutter-free home can look like a new one altogether, and you shouldn’t wait until you sell your home to make it look better. Furthermore, clutter can have adverse effects and cause mental and physical stress. You can take steps to conquer your clutter by breaking ...

Teens Complete Youth Facilitator Training at Imagine

On Saturday, Sept. 9, Imagine held its’ sixth youth facilitator training. Eighteen amazing young people, ages 14 to 18, attended the full day training which sensitizes teen participants to the issue of childhood grief, and prepares the youth to assist with the facilitation of peer-support groups for children who are coping with the death of a parent or a sibling.

Through the ...

Two Scams You Should Know About

Scam Alert 1: Fake Donations

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Unfortunately, criminals and scam artists are counting on that generous spirit, too, ...

Saving for Higher Education

Saving for Higher Education

Part 1 – Six Options for Savings

 

Introduction

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Sam Shepard's 'Simpatico' takes off

Sam Shepard’s “Simpatico” has a forceful workout at McCarter Theatre.

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, NJ – If you’re at all familiar with the works of Sam Shepard, you know that he writes about gritty, unforgiving characters in what appear to be hopeless situations.

In “Simpatico,” we learn that Vinnie and Carter are former partners in a race horse ...

Obituaries

Oct 24, 1926 - Aug 14, 2017
Elizabeth H. List, 90, of Westfield and Cape May, NJ, died peacefully surrounded by her family ...
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Robbery Suspect Flees Getaway Car After Fiery Wreck in Short Hills

September 22, 2017

SHORT HILLS, NJ — The afternoon calm along Route 124 in Short Hills was broken when police responded to a report of a vehicle on fire Thursday. Police investigating found that a robbery suspect in a 2006 Mercedes Benz fled the mall parking lot after the driver, Marquis Dixon stole a $500.00 necklace from an individual he met through an app, police said.

As Dixon fled the car he ...