Gov. Maura Healey says she will not be ready to arrange for a possible disruption to the state’s healthcare panorama as a significant hospital supplier will reportedly shutter a few of its Massachusetts areas.
The governor, in an interview with WBUR on Friday, mentioned the state has but to obtain a proper plan on how the Dallas-based healthcare operator Steward Health Care, which owns 9 Bay State hospitals, seems to be to beat huge monetary challenges.
Steward Health Care reportedly owes $50 million in unpaid hire, based on a press launch issued earlier this month by its proprietor, Medical Properties Trust, Inc. Steward can be the topic of greater than a dozen lawsuits in Massachusetts filed by distributors and workers over unpaid invoices since 2022, a difficulty first delivered to mild by the Boston Globe.
“It’s not a great situation when a hospital is claiming or a system is coming to us saying that they are in real financial distress,” Healey advised WBUR, “but we are just going to continue to work on it.”
“We’re going to make sure patients are protected and jobs are preserved and the stability of the system is maintained,” she continued.
The firm introduced final month that its Stoughton hospital, New England Sinai, will certainly be shuttering within the spring.
At least 4 extra of its hospitals might be in jeopardy of being offered “as soon as possible,” U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch advised WCVB on Thursday, together with Nashoba Valley in Ayer, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Holy Family in Haverhill and Norwood, which has been closed since a devastating flood in June 2020.
Steward additionally operates Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Holy Family in Haverhill and Methuen, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River.
A Steward spokesperson mentioned the corporate is “openly engaging in discussions” with the Healey administration and legislators “to find solutions that will keep these hospitals open and serving patients.”
The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what discussions have concerned and what the totally different choices might entail.
Medical Properties Trust mentioned it has “agreed to fund a new $60 million bridge loan” in a plan that has Steward exploring “several strategic transactions, including the potential sale or re-tenanting of certain hospital operations as well as the divestiture of non-core operations.”
Steward has mentioned 70% of its sufferers are lined by Medicaid or Medicare, and it employs greater than 16,000 nurses, docs and different healthcare employees. It has cited poor reimbursement charges for Medicare and Medicaid providers as a driver behind its monetary challenges.
Massachusetts Nurses Association, in an announcement to the Herald, mentioned it’s engaged with the state and “remains committed to providing health care in their communities in the hospitals currently operated by Steward.” The union represents greater than 23,000 nurses and healthcare professionals.
“Throughout the state, the healthcare system is at full capacity,” the union mentioned. “The loss of any services at this time would be devastating to a system that is already overwhelmed and to the vulnerable communities they serve.”
WBUR reported that the Healey administration met with hospital leaders Thursday, discussing contingency plans reminiscent of “dividing Steward’s facilities among some of the state’s other hospital groups” and “declaring a public health emergency to allow a state takeover of some facilities.”
U.S. Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, together with the state’s 9 representatives, despatched a letter to Steward CEO Ralph de la Torre on Tuesday requesting a briefing on the corporate’s monetary place and its plan for its Massachusetts services.
The firm had not responded to the request as of Friday, Markey’s spokesperson advised the Herald.
“I call on Steward and its lenders to pursue every option to limit the impact of these financial challenges on patients, and to not offload the debt onto our communities and the Commonwealth,” Markey mentioned in an announcement. “We cannot make people travel farther and wait longer for care and expect health care providers at surrounding health facilities to take on the additional patients.”