Southern Regional's bond rating dropped

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded Southern Regional Health System's bond rating to Baa3 from Baa2.

The downgrade and negative outlook are reflective of Southern Regional's operating problems through 10 months of the 2009 fiscal year and continued decline in liquidity, according to Moody's.

The higher the credit rating, the less costly it is to borrow money.

Charles Hayslett, a spokesman for Southern Regional, said it was aware they were being monitored by Moody's and officials were "not surprised by the decision."

— SHELIA M. POOLE