Steward Health Care Sells Physician Network to Optum Care, Amid Financial Troubles and Controversies

UnitedHealth acquires doctor network from Steward Health Care

Steward Health Care, a troubled hospital operator with eight Massachusetts hospitals, is currently facing a financial crisis. In an effort to stabilize its finances, the company has made the decision to sell its nationwide physician network to UnitedHealth’s Optum Care unit. This move is part of Steward’s overall plan to strengthen its national system of 33 hospitals, especially after falling behind in payments to various parties last year.

On Tuesday, a subsidiary of Optum called Collaborative Care Holdings, LLC, officially filed notice with the state’s Health Policy Commission regarding the sale. While the documents filed did not include a specific price tag for the sale, Optum officials did not provide immediate comment on the matter. The potential acquisition of the physician network by Optum Care could potentially provide a financial boost for Steward Health Care as it navigates its ongoing financial challenges.

Stewardship Health, the doctors group being proposed for sale, has been at the center of many controversies in recent years. In 2019, Steward was accused of underpaying doctors and nurses in Massachusetts hospitals by millions of dollars. The company also faced criticism from patients and healthcare workers over issues such as high readmission rates and poor patient care. However, Steward officials have maintained that they are committed to improving patient outcomes and addressing any issues that arise within their system.

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