Valley Hospitals Committed to Patients, Steward Health Says

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Despite financial challenges surrounding Steward Health Care, hospitals in the Mahoning Valley remain committed to patients, a company spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.

“Trumbull Regional Medical Center, Sharon Regional Medical Center and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital Rehabilitation Hospital remain committed to our patients and the communities we serve,” the statement said.

Based in Boston, Steward Health has come under fire from Boston-area legislators, who asked the health care company, which owns more than 30 hospitals in eight states, to address concerns after reports of financial struggles and a closure announced at New England Sinai Hospital.

Other concerns legislators cited involved allegations of violations of the False Claims Act by one Steward Health medical center and the Steward Health Care System, as well as a report that Medical Properties Trust Inc. is owed $50 million in unpaid rent from Steward.

In a statement, a Steward Health spokesperson said financial challenges are due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which have caused record-breaking losses, downsizing and facility closures for community hospitals in the health care industry. 

The spokesperson also said having payor mix throughout Steward Health, with more than 70% Medicare and Medicaid coverage, is making it difficult to cover the cost of care. Along with other community hospital systems, Steward reportedly is working to rectify the disparity between smaller community hospitals with high numbers of Medicare and Medicaid coverage and larger research hospitals.

“While we are pursuing inequities and our aggressive advocacy for fairer reimbursements, Steward is advancing an action plan to strengthen its liquidity, restore its balance sheet and put the tools necessary in place to continue forward as a key provider of health care services to our patients, communities, physicians and employees,” the spokesperson said. “Our physicians will continue to deliver excellent care to our patients.”

Locally, Steward sold select parts of its outreach laboratory services in Ohio and Pennsylvania to Quest Diagnostics earlier this month, although it was noted at that time both the laboratory testing services at Trumbull Regional Medical Center and Sharon Regional Medical Center would be unaffected by the Quest transition.

Pictured at top: Trumbull Regional Medical Center in Warren, which is owned by Steward Health Care System.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.