Massachusetts health system files for bankruptcy

Gardner, Mass.-based Heywood Healthcare has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a string of challenges "hindering its sustainability." 

The independent health system — which consists of Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Athol (Mass.) Hospital, Heywood Medical Group and The Quabbin Retreat — is facing many of the same issues as other community hospitals, according to an Oct. 2 news release shared with Becker's. Workforce shortages, supply chain issues and low reimbursement rates have contributed to financial instability. 

In addition, the hospital has undergone a "costly and lengthy" electronic medical record transition while managing aging infrastructure and a "milestone construction project" — a new surgical pavilion set to open in April 2024. 

"Heywood Hospital has stood independently for 116 years, while navigating national and local challenges, which include Heywood being one of the lowest commercially reimbursed hospitals in Commonwealth. Athol Hospital has operated for 73 years, and remains a hallmark critical access hospital. Though our health system has stood the test of time, we are not impervious to financial challenges," Tom Sullivan, co-CEO of Heywood Healthcare, said in the release. 

The news comes during a particularly turbulent year for the health system. In May 2022, Heywood signed a nonbinding letter of intent to explore an affiliation deal with Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Health. In January, the system announced that the deal was off "given changed circumstances and the difficult healthcare environment in which we all find ourselves." 

In April, Heywood Hospital shuttered its pulmonary unit for financial reasons, and noted it was considering consolidating other services. 

Less than two months later, Heywood's president and CEO Win Brown left the system after 12 years at the helm. The system then changed up its leadership structure and named co-CEOs: Rozanna Penney, CRNA, vice president of patient care services, chief nursing officer and COO, and executive director of Heywood Medical Group, and Mr. Sullivan, vice president of financial services. 

"We are grateful for the support from our state leadership and for the open communication with our legislators and city leadership," Ms. Penney said in the release. "In the days and weeks ahead, Heywood Healthcare will continue to provide exceptional patient-centered care and remain laser-focused on operational stability." 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars