The owner of hospitals in Haverhill and Methuen has been fined $5,000 and will continue to be fined $1,000 weekly for failing to provide financial information about the parent company.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) began assessing fines late last month against Steward Health Care, owner of Holy Family at Merrimack Valley Hospital, Haverhill, and Holy Family Hospital, Methuen.
“We had hoped to come to a resolution that would satisfy both parties through negotiation. Unfortunately, we are now in the position of having to resort to penalties for non-compliance,” Andrew Jackmauh, CHIA’s deputy director of communications, told WHAV Thursday. He said Steward is the only hospital group refusing to provide this information.
Former Hale Hospital Lost $3,480,501 Last Year
During the last state fiscal year, CHIA reports Merrimack Valley Hospital lost $3,480,501 while Holy Family Hospital showed a profit of $5,027,769. CHIA is the state agency charged with informing the public about the health of local hospitals through statistics.
Holy Family at Merrimack Valley is the former city-owned Hale Hospital. Steward also owns another city-owned hospital, the former Quincy City Hospital. It is scheduled to close at the end of the month. CHIN reports Quincy lost $8,042,155 during the last fiscal year.
“CHIA is charged with monitoring the financial health of Massachusetts hospitals. For us to carry out this mandate requires access to system-wide financial information. The information Steward has provided CHIA is incomplete and unverified, preventing us from a complete public reporting on the health of these important community service providers. CHIA’s statutory authorization to collect and report on this information makes no distinction between ownership structure,” he said.
Steward reportedly argues its information about individual hospitals is sufficient.
“The data Steward has provided CHIA is limited to the income statements for the individual hospitals and does not contain parent company-level information or audited comments on the health system, making it difficult to assess or verify the accuracy of the limited data we have,” Jackmauh said.