- Steward Health Care notified state officials on Monday of plans to close Stoughton, Massachusetts-based New England Sinai Acute Long-Term Care And Rehabilitation Hospital this spring, citing financial challenges and "chronic low reimbursement rates" for Medicare and Medicaid services.
- Dallas-based Steward, which is the largest private physician-led hospital operator in the U.S., said in a statement it will relocate patients to a nearby skilled nursing facility by early April and place employees at other Steward facilities.
- The network has struggled with financial challenges for two years and has sold or closed hospitals, faced multiple lawsuits over unpaid vendor bills and settled a $4.7 million dollar False Claims Act settlement.
Steward Health Care finalized its acquisition of New England Sinai in 2012. At the time, Steward said it pledged to invest at least $27 million into the facility.
However, the operator said it has lost $22 million since 2012 on operations and can no longer afford to keep the 182-bed facility open.
"Nearly 75% of Steward hospital patients are public pay which chronically underpay, sometimes at rates less than the cost of delivering services," Steward Health said in a statement. "Unlike ‘non-profit’ systems, Steward does not have a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio to fall back on."
Steward said the closure "continues a troubling trend for the healthcare system in Massachusetts, where access to community-based care continues to decay because of sustained under-reimbursements."
The hospital operator has recently had financial troubles outside the Old Colony state.
In March, Steward announced it would close San Antonio-based Texas Vista Medical Center on May 1, citing a need for significant government relief to offset financial losses at the facility.
After the closure, Steward allegedly owed $4.5 million in unpaid salaries to residents doing post-graduate training contracted by the hospital, according a lawsuit filed by the University of the Incarnate Word and the Texas Institute for Medical Education and Research.
Also in March, Fresenius filed suit and threatened to withhold renal services after the hospital provider missed payments. However, the case was dismissed in April.
Also this year, Steward agreed to sell five care sites in Utah to Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, calling the deal “bittersweet” but necessary to reinvest and maximize impact in other regions.