Fitch Places Carroll Hospital Center (Maryland) Revs on Rating Watch Positive

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings has placed the following bonds issued by the Maryland Health & Higher Educational Facilities Authority on behalf of Carroll Hospital Center (CHC) on Rating Watch Positive:

--$58,135,000 revenue bonds, series 2012A;

--$35,000,000 revenue bonds, series 2006.

SECURITY

The bonds are secured by a lien on all of the obligated group (OG) cash receipts and mortgage granted on most OG facilities.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

RATING WATCH POSITIVE: Fitch has placed CHC's bonds on Rating Watch Positive due to the potential positive credit impact to CHC resulting from its potential merger with LifeBridge Health (LBH), which Fitch does not rate. The entities have approved a letter of intent to form a partnership. Fitch expects the transaction to finalize in the second quarter of 2015.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

COMPLETION OF PENDING TRANSACTION: Resolution of the Rating Watch will be tied to the completion of the pending transaction and the treatment of CHC's debt post-transaction.

CREDIT PROFILE

CHC is a 147-bed acute-care hospital located in Westminster, MD, approximately 40 miles northwest of Baltimore. Total consolidated operating revenues, including the hospital and various other smaller subsidiaries, totaled $286.4 million in fiscal 2014. Fitch considers CHC's disclosure practices to be very good, with quarterly data and annual data (150 days after fiscal year end) posted on EMMA.

LBH is a Maryland not-for-profit, created in 1998 through the merger of Northwest Health System and Sinai Health System. In fiscal 2014 (year ended June 30), LBH generated operating income of $31.3 million on total operating revenues of $1.08 billion.

For more information please see Fitch's press release: 'Fitch Affirms Carroll Hospital Center (Maryland) Revs at 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable', dated March 5, 2014.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

--'U.S. Nonprofit Hospitals and Health Systems Ratings Criteria' (May 30, 2014).

--'Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria' (June 16, 2014)

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

U.S. Nonprofit Hospitals and Health Systems Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=746860

Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=750012

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=980373

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Gary Sokolow
Director
+1 212-908-9186
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall St.
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Stephen Friday
Associate Director
+1 212-908-0384
or
Committee Chairperson
James LeBuhn
Senior Director
+1 312-368-2059
or
Media Relations, New York
Elizabeth Fogerty
+1 212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Gary Sokolow
Director
+1 212-908-9186
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall St.
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Stephen Friday
Associate Director
+1 212-908-0384
or
Committee Chairperson
James LeBuhn
Senior Director
+1 312-368-2059
or
Media Relations, New York
Elizabeth Fogerty
+1 212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com