For Immediate Release
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
Fitch Ratings Affirms Virginia Hospital Center IDR at ‘AA-’ Outlook Stable
Arlington VA: April 28, 2021— Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has received a rating of ‘AA-’ with a stable outlook from Fitch Ratings, a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary and research for global capital markets. The 'AA-' rating reflects VHC's strong operating risk assessment and stable market position in a favorable but competitive service area.
“This rating is an excellent outcome for VHC, especially in light of continued operations during the COVID-19 environment, the ongoing construction of our Outpatient Pavilion and the overall challenges our industry has faced over the past year,” said John L. Zabrowski III, CPA Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Virginia Hospital Center. “VHC navigated the COVID-19 pandemic extremely well with excellent clinical quality, efficient supply management, and innovative efforts like our drive-through collection site and vaccine clinics. Our performance places the health system in an excellent position to continue to grow the services we provide to the community.”
The strength of VHC’s financial profile was a key factor in the Hospital’s nimble response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing VHC to serve as a leader in the region’s COVID response. In addition to launching the area’s first drive-through sample collection site, Virginia Hospital Center was one of the first health systems to implement the Abbott rapid test, allowing for Hospital operations to resume safely. Virginia Hospital Center did not furlough, lay off or reduce pay for staff, but instead made a significant investment in their employees with merit and COVID bonuses, a payout for PTO left unused during the height of the pandemic, and programmatic solutions to help caregivers and staff cope with the added stress of working in a COVID-19 environment.
“I would like to thank the VHC Executive Team, VHC Leaders and staff as well as our Medical Staff for their support, contribution and leadership to make this result possible in what has certainly been an atypical year,” Zabrowski said. “The VHC Board of Directors and supporting Board Committees also played a critical role in supporting this achievement through their guidance and leadership.”
Fitch believes that VHC will maintain strong financial results in the medium term as the Hospital executes expansion and renovation projects, supported by strong demand and a strategic focus on the expansion of primary care and core service lines. Occupancy levels at VHC have typically exceeded 90 percent demonstrating the need for the current project that includes 61 additional beds. Fitch expects continued growth in volume and steady growth in market share related to the expanding outpatient footprint, the Hospital project and expansion and population growth in the service area. In their report, Fitch commented on VHC’s financial profile as strong, further noting their expectations that VHC will continue to demonstrate this strong financial profile into the future.