SAN DIEGO, April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aya Healthcare, Inc. ("Aya") filed a counterclaim against Steward Health Care System, LLC ("Steward") on April 6, 2021, to recover an unpaid contract balance of over $40 million for the services of Aya's frontline healthcare workers throughout the pandemic, plus treble damages, attorneys' fees and costs under Massachusetts unfair and deceptive trade practices act, Chapter 93A.
As the nation's largest travel nurse and allied agency, Aya has provided services to most of the country's healthcare systems throughout the pandemic. Aya's travel clinicians have been on the frontlines against COVID-19 and put themselves in the center of the pandemic to care for communities across the country. When Steward asked Aya for healthcare clinicians to help them meet urgent needs caused by the pandemic, Aya answered the call. Aya and Steward entered into a Crisis Staffing Solution Agreement on March 23, 2020.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Aya provided over 2,000 critical staff to Steward hospitals nationwide. Steward agreed to all staffing rates across the country; Aya paid the workers' wages, travel and other expenses; and Steward received the benefits of these hard-working frontline clinicians. Steward has an unpaid balance of over $40 million for those services. Although Steward has received over $400 million in CARES Act government subsidies, it has refused to pay for the pandemic-driven work of Aya's clinicians. Meanwhile, for-profit Steward acquired hospital assets in other countries.
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Worse are the bad faith business practices that Steward has deployed against Aya and other vendors as a means of maximizing its profits at their expense. Steward never intended to honor the terms of its agreement with Aya. It planned to do exactly what it did: not pay invoices timely; rack up an inordinate unpaid balance; exploit Aya's hesitancy during the pandemic to withhold services and instead induce Aya to continue to perform with false assurances of payment; and then, when Aya finally insists on a viable payment plan, manufacture an unsubstantiated and bad faith "dispute" of previously unchallenged invoices to try to coerce Aya to accept roughly half of the amount due.
Steward's behavior is highly unusual and very concerning to Aya. Aya is not the only vendor that Steward has left unpaid. If hospitals stop paying their vendors it will inevitably disrupt the delivery of healthcare services, and negatively impact patient care in the communities those hospitals serve.
About Aya Healthcare
Aya Healthcare is the nation's largest travel nurse and allied company, as well as a leading provider of locums, per diem and non-clinical staffing. Since the start of the pandemic, Aya has filled over 32-thousand COVID-related assignments to hospitals and healthcare facilities in need across the country. A digitally-driven healthcare staffing company, Aya's managed marketplace streamlines the entire contingent labor staffing process and creates a more valuable experience for healthcare facilities, clinicians and partner agencies. Aya's company culture is rooted in giving back, pledging over $1 million last year to organizations that support food security, education, healthcare and equity.
SOURCE Aya Healthcare