Outlook for not-for-profit hospitals remain negative-Moody's

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:57am EST

WASHINGTON Jan 22 (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday its outlook for U.S. not-for-profit hospitals will remain negative in 2013, marking the fifth year the rating agency has expressed concerns about the sector.

"Our sector outlook has been negative since 2008, reflecting the lasting impact of the recession on patient volumes, significant challenges facing the industry resulting from changes in how hospitals are paid, and heightened pressure from businesses and all levels of government to lower the cost of healthcare services," said Daniel Steingart, Moody's assistant vice president, in a statement.

Hospitals face slow revenue growth, possible federal cuts and limited reimbursements from insurers this year, the agency said. Moreover, the health insurance law known as "Obamacare" calls for more than $300 billion in reductions to Medicare payments through 2019, Moody's added.

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