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Moody's Downgrades Maine Hospital Group to Junk-Bond Status

PORTLAND, Maine - A leading credit rating agency has cut its rating for a Maine hospital group, downgrading the company's debt to junk-bond status.
 
Moody's dropped Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems to a Ba1 rating from Baa3. The move affects nearly $400 million in outstanding debt.
 
A spokeswoman says the company's financial health has improved since the end of the past fiscal year, when it had an operating loss of nearly $35 million.
 
Moody's says the company's outlook remains negative.
 
The company says it has no near-future plans to raise money through bonds, which could be more expensive with a lower rating.
 
The spokeswoman said the credit rating has no effect on the care provided to patients. The company owns hospitals and other medical facilities throughout Maine.