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Steward Health puts 31 hospitals up for sale to pay off $9 billion debt

by HealthCare Business News | May 13, 2024
Business Affairs
St. Elizabeth Medical Center, a Steward Family Hospital (Photo courtesy of St. Elizabeth Medical Center)
Steward Health Care has put all of its 31 U.S. hospitals up for sale to address its $9 billion in debt.

The announcement, the latest in a string of bad news for the health system, was made on Tuesday at a court hearing in Houston, Reuters reported.

Earlier in the week, the Dallas-based health system filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas with debtor-in-possession financing support from Medical Properties Trust, which will provide $75 million initially, with the potential for an additional $225 million based on certain conditions.

The trouble for Steward began early in the year, when Medical Properties Trust, the largest hospital landlord in the country, announced that the health system had fallen about $50 million behind on year-end rent.

In April, Medical Properties Trust offloaded five Steward-operated Utah hospitals for around $1.1 billion in cash proceeds. The hospitals were leased to Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado, part of Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health.

In court documents filed before yesterday's hearing, Steward revealed it had over $9 billion in total liabilities, including $1.2 billion in loans, $6.6 billion in long-term rent obligations, nearly $1 billion in unpaid bills from medical vendors and suppliers, and $290 million in unpaid employee wages and benefits, Reuters reported.

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