January 23, 2013 / 4:41 PM / 5 years ago

TEXT-Fitch may raise Elkhart General Hospital, Ind. rev rating

Jan 23 - Fitch Ratings has placed the following bonds, currently rated 'A+'
by Fitch, issued by Elkhart County Hospital Authority, IN on behalf of Elkhart
General Hospital on Rating Watch Positive:

--$38.9 million fixed-rate revenue bonds, series 1998;
--$45.5 million variable rate revenue refunding bonds, series 2008.

The Rating Watch Positive reflects the substitution of security on the bonds due
to an executed affiliation agreement with Memorial Health System of South Bend
(rated 'AA-'; Outlook Stable (MHS)). Effective Dec. 1, 2011, Beacon Health
System became the sole corporate member of MHS and EGH. Beacon, MHS and EGH are
the obligated group members on the outstanding debt for the organization. It is
expected that the outstanding debt issues for EGH and MHS will be refinanced by
a debt issuance by Beacon within the next three to four months. Fitch will
evaluate the creditworthiness of Beacon Health at the time of the financing.

EGH is a 365-licensed (270-available) bed community hospital located in Elkhart,
IN. In fiscal 2011 (year-ended Dec. 31), EGH generated $232.6 million of total
revenues.

MHS is a 526-licensed bed level 2 trauma center located in South Bend, IN
(approximately 15 miles west of EGH). In fiscal 2011, MHS generated $455.8
million of total revenues.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above
were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been
compensated for the provision of the ratings.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria', dated June 12, 2012;
--'Nonprofit Hospitals and Health Systems Rating Criteria', dated July 23, 2012.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria
Nonprofit Hospitals and Health Systems Rating Criteria

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