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MASSACHUSETTS HEFA (MORTON HOSPITAL) RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority's approximately $36.8 million Revenue Bonds, Series B, to be issued for Morton Hospital and Medical Center, are rated 'BBB+' by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. Bond proceeds will be used to advance refund existing debt, fund future capital renovations, and fund a debt service reserve fund. The bonds are expected to be sold through negotiation in early September by a selling group led by The First Boston Corp.
 Credit strengths include Morton's dominant market share position, which results from being the only hospital in a service area of more than 100,000 residents, and a strong liquidity position that approximates 45 percent of pro-forma debt and over 100 days cash on hand. The hospital has reported consistent bottom line profitability and pro forma debt service coverage has averaged a solid 1.9x over the past four years. Utilization patterns for both inpatient and outpatient services exhibit favorable trends and are viewed positively.
 Concerns center around a small medical staff with a slightly elevated average age and an increased reliance on governmental payors, both of which may inhibit future utilization and profitability growth.
 Morton Hospital and Medical Center, located in Taunton Mass., approximately 35 miles south of Boston and 20 miles east of Providence, operates 202 acute care beds with an average daily census of 143 patients.
 -0- 9/1/93
 /CONTACT: Jerry Solomon, 212-908-0557, or Edward C. Merrigan, 212-908-0513, both of Fitch/


CO: The Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority ST: Massachusetts IN: HEA SU: RTG

TM -- NY077 -- 8140 09/01/93 17:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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