NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised its long-term rating to ‘A’ from ‘A-’ on more than $129 million in current bonds issued by New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH).
The upgrade reflects Standard & Poor's (S&P) view of RWJUH’s substantial balance sheet combined with improved and more stable earnings. More specifically, the ‘A’ rating reflects S&P's assessment of RWJUH’s sustained positive and improved earnings trend since 2008 and continued strong debt service coverage.
The higher rating also is based on good unrestricted cash and investment balances, limited variable-rate debt and a light debt load, Standard & Poor’s added. Further supporting the upgrade is RWJUH’s solid market position in competitive central New Jersey. An academic medical center with Centers of Excellence in cardiovascular care, from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, and women’s and children’s care, the hospital has a large and diverse service area.
“We are very proud that the work undertaken at RWJ over the past few years continues to strengthen us for the future,” said Stephen K. Jones, F.A.C.H.E., president and chief executive officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson Health System. “Our senior leadership team’s focus on improving quality, enhancing service, managing our finances and growing our key businesses has been the foundation for these improvements. Additionally, our outstanding partnership with UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the strong relationship with our medical staff are recognized by the rating agencies. They deserve much credit.”
The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that RWJUH’s financial profile and volumes will stabilize at 2010 and 2011 levels. While Standard & Poor’s will assess any potential impact from governance and management decisions about system affiliations and expansion as they occur, the rating agency believes RWJUH’s robust balance sheet provides flexibility if there are any short-term earnings or operating disruptions.
About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, NJ. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (www.bmsch.org). As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. A Level 1 Trauma Center and the only Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.
RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years.
Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence, an “A” patient safety rating from the Leapfrog Group and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.
The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJ Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center. The Joint Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.