ACA repeal would hit for-profit hospitals ratings

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A repeal of the Patient and Protection and Affordable Care Act would disproportionately hurt the credit ratings of for-profit hospitals, according to a report from Moody's Investors Service. The report singled out for-profit chains HCA, Nashville; Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn.; and Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, as the largest acute-care operators. If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down some or all of the healthcare law, these hospital systems will face increasing numbers of uninsured patients running up medical bills they can't pay, the report said. The report from lead analyst Dean Diaz noted that uninsured patients tend to enter the healthcare system through the emergency department--which means acute-care operators are the most vulnerable to the court's decision.

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