'Join us': Steward CEO invited to testify at Boston field hearing

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey has invited Dallas-based Steward Health Care CEO Ralph de la Torre, MD, to testify at an April 3 field hearing in Boston regarding unanswered questions over the health system's troubled finances. 

The hearing, which will be held by the health, education, labor and pensions committee, will address for-profit companies' impact on healthcare access. Mr. Markey is chair of HELP's primary health and retirement security subcommittee.

"We are going to have questions, and we want answers," Mr. Markey said in an X video statement. "Dr. de la Torre, as Steward's chairman and CEO, and as a physician, you owe the people of Massachusetts, and this country, an explanation. You owe them answers. Join us April 3, Dr. de la Torre."

The call to testify comes after Mr. Markey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared a letter with Dr. de la Torre laying out their fears over the stability of Steward's nine Massachusetts hospitals.

"Steward's Massachusetts hospitals are in deep financial distress and appear to be in danger of closure because of years of mismanagement, private equity schemes, and executive profiteering. You have run this hospital system for 14 years, and reportedly have had access to two private jets while owning two luxury yachts," the letter said. "Meanwhile, suppliers were unpaid, the system piled on debt, and patients in Steward hospitals … suffered because of inadequate care."

The health system confirmed receipt of the letter and is working to transfer ownership of all its Massachusetts hospitals, with no plans to close them, a spokesperson for Steward said in a statement shared with Becker's on March 11. 

Becker's has reached out to Steward for comment and will update this story as more information becomes available. 

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