Covenant Health has announced that Fitch Ratings, a global research organization, has awarded the health system an A+ credit rating, upgrading its previous A rating. In announcing the rating, Fitch cited Covenant Health’s historically strong operating performance, market leadership in a growing demographic area, low debt burden, and favorable cash and leverage metrics.
Ratings are assigned based on an organization’s financial strength and performance outlook. Covenant Health’s A+ credit rating means the health system is financially strong and stable, with a foundation for continued success in the future, according to John Geppi, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“We are by far the strongest health system in the region, locally owned and headquartered here in Knoxville,” Geppi said. “We are certainly pleased with this rating upgrade, as it recognizes our strong financial position.” Covenant Health also has an A rating from S&P Global.
The Fitch review process included an assessment of management and operations, financial profile and balance sheet, market share, admissions and utilization of services, as well as a forecast of future performance. Geppi noted that the health system’s high ratings enable Covenant Health to fund facility expansions or major projects at continued lower interest rates and overall cost of capital, enhancing the organization’s ability to provide excellent care.
Covenant Health is a community-owned health system providing comprehensive health services throughout Tennessee. Headquartered in Knoxville, the health system includes 10 hospitals as well as numerous outpatient services and clinics. It also includes specialty providers of behavioral, oncology, and rehabilitation services, along with home care, physician practices, and community wellness and outreach programs. Covenant Health has more than 10,000 employees, affiliated physicians and volunteers who serve more than a million patients annually. Covenant Health has received regional and national recognition for quality and patient satisfaction, and has been named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for three years in a row.