Massachusetts governor to hold meetings on Steward finances

Starting April 18, a series of regional meetings will be held by Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey's administration with hospitals and community health centers to discuss Dallas-based Steward Health Care's ongoing financial difficulties at its Massachusetts hospitals. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers will use the meetings to give updates on the work the state is conducting, listen to participant concerns and answer questions, and strategize on meeting patient and provider needs.

"MHA and our members applaud the state for holding these important discussions with local healthcare leaders as the Steward situation continues to unfold," Steve Walsh, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We know it will take intense collaboration to ensure every patient and community has access to the care services they need. Our member hospitals are committed to being a part of the solution."

The meetings will focus on areas like maternity, emergency and urgent care, and medical and surgical services needed in each area and will touch on ways to preserve healthcare access should a Steward hospital be faced with contraction or closure of its services. 

"These meetings are not intended to discuss the potential acquisition of any Steward facility, nor specific financial support for individual healthcare providers or entities," a spokesperson for the state DPH said in a statement shared with Becker's on background information for the meetings. 

Separate meetings will be held to discuss workforce planning, academic programs and clinical rotations, and behavioral health in the coming weeks. 

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

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