Steward plans sale of all hospitals, reports $9B in debt

Dallas-based Steward Health Care has placed its 31 U.S. hospitals up for purchase to help offload its $9 billion debt after the health system filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Reuters first reported May 7.

During a court hearing May 7 in Houston, Steward attorney Ray Schrock told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Chris Lopez that the for-profit health system is aiming to keep all of its hospitals open and to finalize the sale of the facilities by the end of this summer, the news agency reported.

"Our goal remains that there are zero hospitals closed on our watch," Mr. Schrock said, according to Reuters. "There's going to be a change in ownership in many hospitals, we recognize that. But we don't want to see any of these communities fail to be served."

Steward has more than $9 billion in total liabilities, which includes $290 million in unpaid employee wages and benefits, almost $1 billion in unpaid bills to suppliers and medical vendors, $1.2 billion in loans,and $6.6 billion in long-term rent obligations, according to court documents obtained by Reuters

Apart from being $9 billion in debt, Mr. Shrock told Mr. Lopez that the health system has value, and had $6 billion in annual revenue before it filed for bankruptcy May 6. 

Steward also recently shared plans to sell its Stewardship Health physician group to UnitedHealth Group's subsidiary Optum to help combat its financial struggles.

News of the planned hospital sales comes after Medical Properties Trust, one of the world's largest hospital real estate owners and Steward landlord, committed $75 million in debtor-in-possession financing for Steward after it filed for bankruptcy.

Medical Properties Trust expects the health system to use the funds to continue patient care while it pushes to re-tenant its hospitals to new operators. 

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

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


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars