Steward Health Care to Participate in Hearing at Massachusetts State House on Monday – NBC Boston

Private Equity Ownership in Healthcare: A Thorny Issue for Massachusetts Lawmakers Amid Steward Health Care Crisis

In Massachusetts, lawmakers are currently holding a hearing to discuss private equity ownership in the healthcare sector, particularly in light of the financial crisis that Steward Health Care is facing. This crisis has raised concerns about the lack of transparency from companies like Steward, which owns nine hospitals in the state.

Governor Maura Healey has placed blame on Steward’s management for this situation. If Steward decides to pull out of the state, it would significantly reduce access to healthcare for hundreds of thousands of people. Lawmakers heard from a government watchdog warning about the dangers of industry consolidation, for-profit ownership, and private equity investment in healthcare during the hearing.

Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz presented data showing a significant increase in the involvement of private equity in healthcare transactions in Massachusetts over recent years. The percentage of transactions involving private equity interests has more than doubled, raising concerns about the future of healthcare in the state. Seltz emphasized the need for urgent action to address these trends before they escalate further.

The data presented by Seltz underscores growing concerns about the impact of private equity ownership in the healthcare industry. As such, lawmakers have called for increased transparency and accountability in healthcare practices to mitigate these risks and ensure that patients receive high-quality care regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

The debate over private equity ownership in healthcare is ongoing, with some arguing that it can lead to improved outcomes and increased efficiency while others fear it could lead to higher costs and reduced access to care. However, as evidenced by Steward’s financial struggles and other examples around the country, there are legitimate concerns about its impact on patient care and overall system stability.

As such, lawmakers must continue to scrutinize this issue closely and work towards finding solutions that balance profitability with patient safety and well-being. Ultimately, ensuring that our healthcare system remains equitable and accessible for all requires ongoing attention and commitment from policymakers at every level.

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