(Hyannis, June 20, 2019) Fitch Ratings, Inc. has assigned an ‘AA-’ rating to Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC). The rating is an upgrade from the ratings agency’s previous rating for CCHC of ‘A’. The Fitch Rating Outlook for CCHC is “stable.” “The assignment of ‘AA-’ IDR and the upgrade of the bond rating are supported by Fitch’s assessment of a strong financial profile reflecting favorable adjusted leverage metrics in Fitch’s forward-looking scenario, the organization’s dominant market position in the Cape Cod service area, its solid operating results and manageable capital plan,” Fitch Ratings said in a press release on the upgrade. The press release goes on to cite CCHC’s “sizeable capital plan with the largest component the install of a new electronic health record (Epic). Fitch views the capital plan as manageable based on historically strong operating cash flow.” “We are extremely pleased by this news,” said Michael Lauf, CCHC president and CEO. “As we approach next year’s 100th anniversary of Cape Cod Hospital’s founding, it’s gratifying to know that we, the current stewards of this exceptional healthcare system, have ensured that we will enter the next 100 years healthy and strong.” Fitch noted CCHC’s recent membership in the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative, which is providing Cape Cod residents access to Dana-Farber’s protocols, expertise and clinical trials. Fitch also cited the organization’s next strategic move, to re-establish level III trauma designation, which was lost due to a 2013 change in state regulations. Both efforts will increase patient access to services, Fitch noted. “The Fitch upgrade is confirmation that we are on the right track with our capital plan, which includes a sweeping new electronic records system connecting patients and providers across the Cape and beyond,” said Lauf. “The patient is at the center of all we do, and all of our plans for the future include ways to provide better quality, more convenient access to care and more affordability. A strong financial profile ensures that we can continue to accomplish these goals.” CCHC is the parent company of Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, five outpatient centers, four urgent care centers, an employed physician group, a skilled nursing facility, and an assisted living facility. The organization has 121 outpatient access points across Cape Cod. In order for CCHC to maintain its positive rating, Fitch notes that, “due to its large exposure to government sources of revenue, it is essential that CCHC maintains a healthy level of profitability.” Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 5,300 employees and 790 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two acute care hospitals, the Cape’s leading provider of homecare and hospice services (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility, and numerous health programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare’s web site at www.capecodhealth.org. Visit our health news site www.capecodhealthnews.com for the latest in relevant and credible healthcare news.