LOWELL, Mass.—Steward Health Care System, Boston, and Saints Medical Center, Lowell, have a definitive agreement for Steward to acquire the 104-bed hospital. Steward and Saints signed a letter of intent for the deal in April. Steward agreed to invest $35 million in the hospital within the first five years and has made $5 million available to the hospital to fund any capital needs between now and closing, said Steward spokesman Chris Murphy. Steward also agreed to take on $48 million in outstanding debt and $15 million in unfunded pension liabilities, Murphy said. Steward committed to keeping Saints open as an acute-care hospital for at least 10 years, to maintain community benefit and charity care at current levels and to preserve the hospital's Roman Catholic identity and follow the church's ethical and religious directives. Steward was formed last year when Cerberus Capital Management purchased Boston-based Caritas Christi Health Care, thereby converting it to for-profit status but operating its six hospitals as Catholic facilities. Since then, Steward acquired two investor-owned hospitals in Massachusetts, has agreements in place to acquire three tax-exempt hospitals in the state and has a deal to acquire two tax-exempt hospitals in Rhode Island.
Regional News/Northeast: Steward to acquire Saints Medical Center, and other news
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Baystate Health System, a three-hospital system in Springfield, plans to cut 169 positions in August. In addition, Baystate said it will not fill 185 jobs that are currently vacant, which will reduce a total of 354 jobs at the health system, according to a spokesperson. The layoffs are expected to occur Aug. 19. Baystate hospitals include 659-bed Baystate Medical Center in Springfield; 90-bed Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, and 31-bed Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware. The staffing cuts, which the health system attributes to cuts in state reimbursements and the weak economy, will not affect its plans for a March 2012 opening of its Hospital of the Future, a $251 million project replacing the system's flagship hospital in Springfield, according to a news release. Baystate executives estimated a $25 million budget shortfall in 2011.
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