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Hospitals May Refinance|Without Renovating

WASHINGTON (CN) - To help keep hospitals open, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is allowing debt refinancing without the need to perform construction or renovation, an existing requirement of the Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program.

The HUD is revising regulations under the Federal Housing Administration's Section 242 Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program to conform to a practice of allowing the loans that the HUD began in July and revised in January. The rule is for hospitals without FHA-insured loans. Hospitals currently insured under the FHA's Section 242 program may refinance under the National Housing Act.

The agency changed the rule because the downturn in the economy has reduced the availability of private financing for hospital facility, equipment, and technology needs, and for hospitals to meet obligations on existing debt.

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