3 Utah lawsuits seek $40M from Steward

Three separate Utah lawsuits are seeking a combined $40 million in damages from Dallas-based Steward Health Care after investors allege the health system took funding from five of its state hospitals to pay bills it had acquired across other states, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Feb. 19.

The lawsuits, which include investors such as dozens of physicians and some state lawmakers, come after Steward sold its five Utah hospitals in 2023 to Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health that were then set to be managed by Centura Health.

Under Steward, the hospitals were known as Layton, Utah-based Davis Hospital and Medical Center; Jordan, Utah-based Jordan Valley Medical Center; Jordan (Utah) Valley Medical Center-West Valley Campus; Lehi, Utah-based Mountain Point Medical Center; and Salt Lake Regional Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

The hospitals have since been rebranded as Holy Cross Hospital locations. 

Along with the recent lawsuits, 12 mostly Utah-based businesses have also sued Steward over the past year, suggesting the health system owes them a combined $3.4 million for goods and services such as staffing, snow removal, pest control and medical supplies.

Among the lawsuits, the state of Utah is also demanding $316,000 for newborn testing kits from Steward's unpaid bills, the publication reported. 

Franklin, Tenn.-based Iasis Holdings, the previous owner of the five hospitals, is also mentioned in the lawsuits, the Tribune reported. Iasis merged with Steward in 2017.

News of the Utah lawsuits against Steward come as the health system is facing a slew of financial troubles, including falling $50 million behind on year-end rent to Medical Properties Trust, the largest hospital landlord in the U.S.  

Concerns over the stability of Steward's nine Massachusetts hospitals also persist as state lawmakers continue to probe the health system for answers regarding its finances. 

Steward told Becker's it had no comment regarding the Utah lawsuits at this time.

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