Holy Family Hospital’s landlord said Wednesday that Steward Health Care hospitals have drawn significant interest from other potential operators, the latest hint that facilities might soon be transferred away from the financially floundering for-profit system. A day after Gov. Maura Healey issued a biting call for Steward to hand off its licensed, operational Bay State hospitals to new parties “as soon as possible,” the firm that owns the hospital real estate suggested there could be a willing market. “With regard to Steward, we are encouraged by the amount of interest received to date from other hospital operators for these mission-critical facilities, and we expect this real estate portfolio will either resume its contributions to earnings or become additional sources of liquidity as the year progresses,” said Medical Properties Trust CEO Edward Aldag Jr.
At the same time, MPT—which in January said Steward owed it about $50 million in unpaid rent—appeared to open the door to steering more money to its tenant. MPT officials said in a news release about fourth-quarter finances that the firm is negotiating with other “asset-backed lenders” of Steward on $37.5 million in bridge funding, based on the hospital system hitting milestones established in January. The real estate firm said it had already funded $20 million of that request.