Lifespan keeping tabs on Steward hospitals

Providence, R.I.-based Lifespan is keeping a pulse on the bankruptcy hearings and scheduled sale of Dallas-based Steward Health Care's 31 hospitals with potential interest in some of the health system's Massachusetts facilities, Providence Business First reported June 4. 

"You know, the hospitals we might look at are similar to some of our hospitals," Peter Markell, CFO of Lifespan Health System said on a call, Providence Business First said. "We want to do the right thing. But in doing the right thing, we've got to make sure it works from the business and financial perspective. And if we were to bid on any of them, we would only do it at a price that we thought was financially accretive."

Steward filed for bankruptcy protection May 6 amid ongoing financial troubles. Most recently, the health system received approval from U.S. bankruptcy Judge Chris Lopez to sell its hospitals and physician group, Stewardship Health, in two rounds. 

The first round has a bid deadline of June 24 and a first sale hearing of July 11. It will comprise Stewardship Health and all of Steward's hospitals except its Florida facilities and some Texas hospitals. The second round features Steward's Florida hospitals and four Texas hospitals, with a bid deadline of Aug. 12 and a sale hearing of Aug. 22. 

"Frankly, we care about these communities.... If you look at Southeastern Mass and Rhode Island, we view that as our service area," Mr. Markell told the publication. "So we actually feel a responsibility, if we can, to help out the patients in those areas, and the people who have jobs in those areas."

While no hospital buyers have been named yet, Steward attorney Ray Schrock has relayed that the hospital's have received interest from multiple parties. 

The health system also hopes to sell Stewardship Health to UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum.

"This physician group is very sought after, it's extremely valuable," Mr. Schrock said during a June 3 bankruptcy court hearing. 

Becker's has reached out to Lifespan for comment and will update this story should more information become available. 

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