UMass Memorial sues Steward hospital over nonpayment

UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial Medical Group have filed a lawsuit against Boston-based St. Elizabeth's Medical Center for alleged nonpayment of oncology services, the Worcester Business Journal reported Oct. 27.

The suit alleges that St. Elizabeth's, part of Dallas-based Steward Health Care, owes UMass Memorial $688,000 in delinquent guaranteed quarterly payments for radiation oncology services provided by UMass Memorial Medical Group employees. The arrangement, which ended Oct. 20, was part of a professional services agreement the two organizations entered in 2012. 

St. Elizabeth's allegedly failed to make quarterly payments starting in March 2022, according to the suit. The hospital has since paid UMass Memorial $70,843 to cover two late quarterly payments but still owes the system $319,158 to cover five additional quarters. The hospital also owes UMass $336,852 for a second professional services agreement set in 2016.

UMass Memorial said it has made good faith attempts to coordinate payment with the hospital but that St. Elizabeth's has ignored its obligations.

Steward shared the following statement with Becker's Oct. 27: 

"According to our records we paid our existing invoices in September in the amount of $239.038. If we discover there are additional unpaid invoices we will pay them promptly," a spokesperson said. "We find it disappointing that UMass would resort to draconian legal measures. Their organization receives significant funding from [Massachusetts] taxpayers and pays no tax to the communities they serve, unlike [St. Elizabeth's] which serves predominantly disadvantaged communities and is among the largest taxpayers there."

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