Massachusetts hospital has 'no immediate plans to close' amid challenges

The president of Dorchester, Mass.-based Carney Hospital, Stan McLaren, said there are "no immediate plans" to close the primary healthcare facility despite a recent series of challenges, the Dorchester Reporter reported March 8. 

The hospital has been battling rising costs, an unresolved labor contract and an insurance reimbursement system that has put it at a competitive disadvantage, according to the report. 

Mr. McLaren said that though there are no plans to close, he did not want to paint "too rosy a picture" of the challenges facing the Dallas-based Steward Health Care-owned hospital. 

"Carney has struggled financially for years, and the pandemic has exacerbated things," he said. "And it’s not just Carney. Some places when they catch a cold, we catch a fever. We don’t have this huge private [insurance] base to support us."

Carney nurses are currently engaged in a monthslong collective bargaining process to renew their contract, according to the report. The union has raised concerns that Steward is deliberately starving Carney of resources, offering nurses a one-year contract while other hospitals in the system have received longer-duration proposals. 

Mr. McLaren said negotiations are going well and disputed the union's characterization of Steward's position regarding the hospital's future, according to the report. 

One potential sign that Steward intends to keep the hospital open is the system's decision to move a 25-bed substance use disorder unit from Taunton, Mass.-based Morton Hospital to Carney, according to the report.    

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