NewsSenators slam Steward Healthcare, say execs 'put profits before patients'

Senators slam Steward Healthcare, say execs ‘put profits before patients’

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In a strongly-worded statement released on Monday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren condemned Steward Health Care, accusing its executives of prioritizing profits over patient well-being and deliberately concealing crucial financial information from state officials.

Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, expressed deep concern about Steward’s precarious financial situation and denounced the alleged patient neglect at Steward facilities. She declared, “Steward’s explanations for its failings do not add up.” Highlighting the potential public health crisis, Warren emphasized her commitment to investigating the decisions that led to this situation, focusing on ensuring the safety of thousands of patients and the job security of frontline healthcare workers.

Last week, Warren led the Massachusetts Congressional delegation in a letter to Steward CEO Ralph de la Torre, underscoring the significant impact on patients if any of Steward’s hospitals were to close in Massachusetts. U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch, a delegation member, echoed concerns about the abrupt nature of the situation and emphasized the need to investigate the allocation of funds provided to various hospitals within his Congressional district.

Steward Health Care, operating several hospitals in Massachusetts, has faced financial distress, potential closures, and legal challenges. The delegation cited reports of the company’s financial difficulties, plans to close New England Sinai Hospital, unmet rent and loan payments, and federal charges of False Claims Act violations.

Responding to the delegation’s concerns, Steward issued a statement affirming its commitment to serving vulnerable patient populations and collaborating with public officials for uninterrupted, high-quality care. The company, which employs over 16,000 healthcare workers in Massachusetts, faces scrutiny as healthcare systems across the state grapple with patient demand, workforce constraints, and funding challenges.

Governor Maura Healey is closely monitoring the evolving situation at Steward Health Care to ensure stability in the state’s healthcare system. State lawmakers, including Senator Nick Collins, are seeking detailed financial information from Steward as they evaluate potential interventions to safeguard access to hospitals.

Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka described the situation as complicated and evolving, expressing a commitment to work closely with the administration to monitor and address challenges faced by various hospitals under Steward.

Attorney General Andrea Campbell emphasized the priorities of patient care, protecting access to healthcare, and preserving jobs. She stated the intention to use all available powers to address immediate concerns while conducting a thorough examination of how Steward Health Care found itself in this challenging situation.

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