The efforts hospitals have been putting in to improve efficiency and financial performance seem to be paying off.
both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's. Fitch had
already seen an improvement in the fourth quarter of 2004 when it
upgraded five acute-care hospitals or systems and downgraded just four.
The results are worth noting given the not-for-profit healthcare
industry's track record of downgrades outpacing upgrades. The ratio of
upgrades to downgrades has been getting better and better each quarter,
said Stephen Infranco, an S&P director.