RWJBarnabas Health Inc., NJ Bond Ratings Raised To 'AA-' On Successful Integration With Robert Wood Johnson; Otlk Stable

NEW YORK (S&P Global Ratings) Jan. 10, 2019--S&P Global Ratings raised its 
long-term and underlying (SPUR) ratings on multiple series of debt, issued by 
various issuers for RWJBarnabas Health Inc. d/b/a RWJBarnabas Health, N.J. 
(RWJBarnabas) to 'AA-' from 'A+'. The outlook is stable. 

"The higher rating reflects the successful integration of two sizable health 
care organizations--Robert Wood Johnson Health Care Corp. and Barnabas 
Health--and our opinion that the strategic merger has strengthened 
RWJBarnabas' enterprise profile, creating operational efficiencies and growth 
based on size, scale, and ability to respond to the inherent challenges in the 
sector," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Stephen Infranco. 
"Furthermore, since the merger, RWJBarnabas' has generated favorable operating 
results and cash flow, contributing to continued improvement in key balance 
sheet metrics that are consistent with the higher rating." 

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that RWJBarnabas will continue to 
generate good operating income levels and cash flow, which in turn should 
allow for continued incremental improvement in liquidity metrics. The outlook 
further reflects our expectation that the partnership with Rutgers will 
further enhance the organization's already-strong enterprise profile and while 
there are long-term financial commitments, the overall financial profile 
should remain consistent with the rating.