Q: Do you foresee the issuance of bonds in the near or distant future? If so, for what purpose?

A: Not in the near future. After the $113 million bond issue last December, we decided not to incur additional debt until we have a clearer picture of the future health care payment system and also are able to strengthen our balance sheet ratios. We have plans for a new hospital facility to replace some of our older beds. That will require some additional debt financing. We would categorize this project as one for the distant future. With the continuing movement of care to outpatient services, we will need some expansion in ambulatory care facilities. Where these facilities will be located and how they will be financed has not been determined.

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