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Economy
It’s a common sight in Northeast Ohio. Travelling down the highway as you approach an exit, on one side of the road, there’s a shiny new outpost of the Cleveland Clinic, on the other side, one belonging to University Hospital. A few exits down the highway, you might see the exact same thing. In town after town, you come across facilities for both. It’s an indication of just how dynamic the overall healthcare industry is and how the marketplace is evolving. For seven weeks, WKSU News will examine various facets of the economic impact of the healthcare industry in “The Business of Health.” The series provides an overarching look at how big medicine directly and indirectly affects the lives of the residents of Northeast Ohio and whether they’re sharing in the economic benefits and getting the healthcare options they need at a cost they can afford. That’s Tuesday’s during December and January on Morning Edition.

Summa Health System Says Its Finances Are Improving Despite Credit Downgrade

a photo of Summa's Akron campus
SUMMA HEALTH

Summa Health System is trying to stay positive after Moody’s Investment Service this week announced a slight downgrade in its bond credit rating from Baa1 to Baa2.  

The downgrade will add around $90,000 per year to the costs of Summa’s $350 million expansion of Akron City Hospital.

But Chief Financial Officer Brian Derrick says Summa’s finances have improved in recent months after a rough few quarters.

“We clearly had a difficult first six months of this fiscal year but we are in an upswing in the last part of this year, and we expect that positive momentum to continue into 2018,” says Derrick.

He says the $60 million in losses predicted earlier this year has been roughly cut in half.

He says competition from larger hospital systems, changes in the insurance markets and a declining population are major challenges moving forward.