Boston (April 2, 2024) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, released the following statement on Steward Health Care CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre declining to testify at his Senate HELP Subcommittee field hearing tomorrow in Boston. Steward Health Care—which operates nine health care facilities across Massachusetts—is currently facing significant financial insecurity as a result of previously accumulated debt. Steward’s inability to pay its debt has resulted in financial instability among several of the hospitals it owns in Massachusetts, creating a risk to patients and health providers.

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 for how Steward has failed to show up for the communities they promised to serve. I will be addressing this and the many other harms that private equity and for-profit forces inflict on hospitals across the country at my hearing tomorrow in Boston.”

On March 12, Senator Markey publicly invited Steward Health CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre to testify at the April 3 hearing. On March 26, Senators Markey and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent another invitation, urging Dr. de la Torre to testify and noting that it is imperative that the public hear from Steward Health Care leadership.

Previously, on March 7, Senators Markey and Warren sent a letter to Dr. de la Torre requesting financial information, including executive compensation, financial statements, Steward’s arrangement with Medical Properties Trust, repayment of debts to Massachusetts, Steward merger and acquisition activity, and loans from Brigade, Soundpoint, and other lenders in 2023.