Rep. Lori Trahan introduced the Steward Health Care System disaster earlier than a Congressional committee Wednesday, calling for extra transparency into the “disastrous” function of personal fairness within the monetary instability threatening hospitals in Massachusetts.
“Families who receive care at Holy Family Hospital and Nashoba Valley Medical Center – both owned by Steward – were recently notified that their care is now in jeopardy because of the corporation’s gross financial negligence that’s seeing the company try to shutter 4 of the 9 hospitals they own in Massachusetts,” Trahan stated throughout a House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee.
The feedback comply with revelations earlier this month that the Dallas-based system, the most important personal for-profit well being care community within the nation, reportedly owes $50 million in unpaid lease and is topic to over a dozen lawsuits since 2022 alleging unpaid invoices.
The community owns 9 hospitals within the Commonwealth and has been reportedly in search of to promote 4, together with Nashoba Valley in Ayer, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Holy Family in Haverhill and Methuen, and Norwood Hospital.
Steward introduced it could shutter New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton in December after shedding $22 million. The hospital is about to shut in April, and the Department of Public Health scheduled a public assembly in-person Wednesday at 6 p.m.
During the Congressional committee listening to, Trahan referred to as out the well being system’s lack of readability round these monetary shortcomings.
“For their reasoning, Steward executives have pointed to, you guessed it, low Medicaid reimbursement rate as the cause of their financial distress,” Trahan stated. “But earlier this month, it was revealed that the company has missed rent payments to an ‘outside landlord’ that actually owns the property and buildings their facilities operate in.”
During the listening to Families USA Senior Director of Health Policy Sophia Tripoli provided testimony, arguing larger transparency and scrutiny of well being care techniques’ personal fairness is a “critical first step.” Insight into mergers and acquisitions, she stated, can assist empower state and federal regulators and avoiding conditions like Steward ongoing monetary instability.
Governor Maura Healey has acknowledged within the final week the state is taking steps to take care of the “stability” of the system and mitigate the scenario for the native communities.
A spokesperson for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services gave no extra particulars on the state’s plan to handle the scenario however sustaining protected and high-quality well being care and supporting the workforce is a “top priority” of the administration.
“When healthcare facilities or services close, we are always concerned about any potential disruption to patients, healthcare workers, families, and communities,” the EOHHS spokesperson stated. “DPH will continue to closely monitor and work with Steward to protect patients, preserve jobs, and maintain quality.”
The state Legislature will even hear testimony on a invoice filed by Rep. Natalie Higgins which might block hospitals from closing for 3 years if the state deems them “necessary for preserving access and health status in the hospital’s service area.”