Won’t lend to health care, say commercial lenders

If an addition or renovation of your health care facility is in the cards for 2000, it may be a tougher trick to pull off than you think. According to the latest Phoenix Lending Survey, the health care industry is being sidestepped by commercial lenders. Survey results show 85% said they would not lend to a health care concern.

The score is the highest negative score recorded since the first such survey in 1995, said Phoenix Lending executives.

For a third consecutive quarter, more than half of the 95 lenders participating in the survey named health care as the least attractive industry among a list of 16 to which they lend. In the fall quarter, 69% of lenders named health care an unattractive industry. In July, 55% said health care was unappealing.

Does anyone hear the Code Blue’?

"There’s clearly a Code Blue’ being signaled in the health care industry," said E. Talbot Briddell, president of Philadelphia-based Phoenix Management Services, in a statement with the survey’s release in mid-December. "The question is, is anybody listening?"

Topping the list of health care concerns were not-for-profit hospitals, which 56% of respondents said were unattractive to their lending institution. Also listed as unattractive segments within the industry were:

- Managed care companies, 53%

- For-profit hospitals, 49%

- Home health care agencies, 45%

- Physician practices, 45%

- Nursing homes, 43%