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Steward Health Care looking to sell 4 hospitals in Mass. as soon as possible

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Massachusetts lawmakers have met with Steward Health Care amid concerns that financial issues could force the closure of some of the hospitals the company operates in the state.Dallas-based Steward Health Care, which reportedly owes $50 million in unpaid rent, operates Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Holy Family in Haverhill and Methuen, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Nashoba Valley Medical Center, New England Sinai Hospital, Norwood Hospital, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton. Rep. Stephen Lynch said Steward wants to sell off four hospitals as soon as possible, including the Norwood facility, which has been closed since June 2020 because of flooding. Steward was moving forward with plans to rebuild the facility. The company also wants to shutter Nashoba Valley Medical Center, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital, Lynch said.Lynch said state officials were blindsided by the announcement and are now scrambling to keep Steward Hospitals open. “They expressed their intent to exit the Massachusetts health care market,” Lynch said. “They own nine hospitals. How do you spin that in a good way?””(I) have not seen a plan from Steward,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “Steward has not filed anything. People should know this — our goal is going to be that patients are protected, that jobs are protected and that the health care system in Massachusetts is stabilized.”The Massachusetts congressional delegation sent a letter to Steward’s CEO reminding him of the significant impacts on patient care if they decide to pull out of the health care business in the state.”This is happening at a time of a surge of cases now because of COVID, so we’re seeing increased demand,” Lynch said. “Very much caught off guard, and I think I speak for the whole congressional delegation in that respect.”Management downplayed reports of closures in an email to employees obtained by WCVB. “We are working hard to address the challenges we’re facing and have been working diligently with our lenders to secure additional funding which will go a long way to normalizing hospital operations,” Executive Vice President Michael Callum said in an email to staff on Thursday.”We have not asked the state and currently do not believe we need any form of government bailout,” Callum also wrote.Mass General Brigham said it was moving surgeries and procedures scheduled at one of Steward’s hospitals.”After hearing that certain surgical equipment may not be available, we made the decision to reschedule upcoming orthopedic and GI procedures at Holy Family Hospital,” said Tom Sequist, chief medical officer at Mass General Brigham.”We deeply regret Mass General Brigham’s decision to no longer conduct surgeries at Holy Family Hospital, a facility that serves a vulnerable patient population in their community, who need and deserve quality health care close to home,” a written statement from Steward Health Care said.”The fact that one of the largest health care providers in Massachusetts rescinded their care underscores the fact that Steward hospitals do not receive the support they need, nor the recognition of the quality care they provide,” the written statement said.The president of Holy Family Hospital announced Friday he was stepping down to take another job.Steward has said it serves a large number of Medicare and Medicaid patients, and they’re not being reimbursed for that care as well as they need to be.”Our focus is going to be on making sure patients across this state, including anywhere where there is a Steward facility, have access to care, are protected and that jobs are protected and the health care system is stable,” Healey said.The company employs more than 16,000 nurses, doctors, and other frontline, essential health care workers in the state. Video below: Mass. doctor on what Steward Health issues mean for patients

Massachusetts lawmakers have met with Steward Health Care amid concerns that financial issues could force the closure of some of the hospitals the company operates in the state.

Dallas-based Steward Health Care, which reportedly owes $50 million in unpaid rent, operates Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Holy Family in Haverhill and Methuen, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Nashoba Valley Medical Center, New England Sinai Hospital, Norwood Hospital, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton.

Rep. Stephen Lynch said Steward wants to sell off four hospitals as soon as possible, including the Norwood facility, which has been closed since June 2020 because of flooding. Steward was moving forward with plans to rebuild the facility.

The company also wants to shutter Nashoba Valley Medical Center, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital, Lynch said.

Lynch said state officials were blindsided by the announcement and are now scrambling to keep Steward Hospitals open.

“They expressed their intent to exit the Massachusetts health care market,” Lynch said. “They own nine hospitals. How do you spin that in a good way?”

“(I) have not seen a plan from Steward,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “Steward has not filed anything. People should know this — our goal is going to be that patients are protected, that jobs are protected and that the health care system in Massachusetts is stabilized.”

The Massachusetts congressional delegation sent a letter to Steward’s CEO reminding him of the significant impacts on patient care if they decide to pull out of the health care business in the state.

“This is happening at a time of a surge of cases now because of COVID, so we’re seeing increased demand,” Lynch said. “Very much caught off guard, and I think I speak for the whole congressional delegation in that respect.”

Management downplayed reports of closures in an email to employees obtained by WCVB.

“We are working hard to address the challenges we’re facing and have been working diligently with our lenders to secure additional funding which will go a long way to normalizing hospital operations,” Executive Vice President Michael Callum said in an email to staff on Thursday.

“We have not asked the state and currently do not believe we need any form of government bailout,” Callum also wrote.

Mass General Brigham said it was moving surgeries and procedures scheduled at one of Steward’s hospitals.

“After hearing that certain surgical equipment may not be available, we made the decision to reschedule upcoming orthopedic and GI procedures at Holy Family Hospital,” said Tom Sequist, chief medical officer at Mass General Brigham.

“We deeply regret Mass General Brigham’s decision to no longer conduct surgeries at Holy Family Hospital, a facility that serves a vulnerable patient population in their community, who need and deserve quality health care close to home,” a written statement from Steward Health Care said.

“The fact that one of the largest health care providers in Massachusetts rescinded their care underscores the fact that Steward hospitals do not receive the support they need, nor the recognition of the quality care they provide,” the written statement said.

The president of Holy Family Hospital announced Friday he was stepping down to take another job.

Steward has said it serves a large number of Medicare and Medicaid patients, and they’re not being reimbursed for that care as well as they need to be.

“Our focus is going to be on making sure patients across this state, including anywhere where there is a Steward facility, have access to care, are protected and that jobs are protected and the health care system is stable,” Healey said.

The company employs more than 16,000 nurses, doctors, and other frontline, essential health care workers in the state.

Video below: Mass. doctor on what Steward Health issues mean for patients



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