CEO of struggling Steward Health will not testify at congressional hearing at Mass. State House

BOSTON — Congressional lawmakers are meeting in Boston on Wednesday to discuss the troubled financial status of Steward Health Care, but one person will be absent from that testimony -- Steward’s CEO.

According to Mass. Sen. Ed Markey, Steward isn’t even sending any of its executives to testify at the State House on Beacon Hill. Markey says he’s disappointed, but not surprised.

Boston 25 News reported last week that Markey invited Steward Health Care CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre to testify at the hearing to answer questions about Steward’s struggling financial situation. Steward operates nine healthcare facilities in Massachusetts but just closed New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton on Tuesday.

Just last week Steward announced it reached a deal to sell its physician network to insurance company, Optum. The proposed sale is Steward’s plan to help shore up its finances, but that plan needs to be approved, and it will be closely reviewed by Massachusetts lawmakers. Many state leaders have said Steward’s financial instability creates a risk to patients and providers.

Markey released a statement about the CEO’s no-show for the hearing, saying, “It is no surprise that when asked to account for their actions, Dr. De la Torre and Steward executives won’t be bothered to show up and provide explanations. It is a clear reflection of how Steward has failed to show up for the communities they promised to serve.”

Markey and fellow Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as well as Gov. Maura Healey, have asked Steward several times to provide its financial information. Healey has said she wants them out of the state.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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