Gov. Maura Healey Tuesday released a list of demands—including financial records and safe staffing and supply levels—she said she is making of Steward Health Care, owner of Holy Family Hospitals in Haverhill and Methuen. Healey, in a letter sent to Steward CEO Ralph de la Torre, asked the chain to take a number of steps by Friday or face the state “freezing admissions, closing beds, canceling procedures and transferring patients to other hospitals.” One step asks Steward to produce financial records that are required of other health care systems, but that Steward has refused to submit for years.” The governor said information would show whether spending and resources might “put profits over patient care.”
“The time has come to move past our many months of discussions and begin executing a safe, orderly transition of your seven licensed facilities in Massachusetts to new operators as soon as possible,” the letter read. The governor went on to say, “For years, you have refused to engage in the same level of basic transparency that every other system in Massachusetts offers by not releasing your audited financial statements,” wrote Healey. “Your continued refusal to do so, particularly at this moment, is irresponsible and an affront to the patients, workers and communities that the Steward hospitals serve. It also leads to a further breakdown in trust and creates a major roadblock to our ability to work together to resolve this effectively.”
Steward disputed that the chain hasn’t provided financial data.