Steward Bankruptcy Update: The Global Bidding Process Filed & Tim Foley Appointed to Represent 1199SEIU on UCC

May 17, 2024

As the Steward Ch. 11 bankruptcy process moves forward, the first major development is the Global Bidding Procedures. The Global Bidding Procedures set the timeline and conditions for parties to submit bids for the doctors group, Steward hospitals, and other Steward assets.

Massachusetts hospitals are in two asset groups, with the northern MA hospitals (Carney, HFH – Haverhill & Methuen, Nashoba Valley and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center) grouped with FL hospitals. Southern MA hospitals (Good Samaritan, Morton Hospital and Saint Anne’s Hospital) are grouped with other hospitals around the country (i.e. AZ, OH and TX).  

Steward notes interest for its southern and northern MA hospitals, however there is no stalking horse bidder at this time (sets the low-end bidding bar so that other bidders can’t underbid the purchase price). Bids for Massachusetts hospitals must be submitted by June 24th, with the auction beginning on June 27th (auctions will only occur if there are sufficient qualifying bids). Should Steward not receive any qualifying bids for a hospital by the appropriate deadline, Steward will seek approval for other alternatives, such as closure of the hospital, or Medical Properties Trust (MPT), Steward’s landlord and lender, appointing an interim operator. MPT is authorized in this process to discuss and negotiate with potential bidders regarding the treatment of property and leases at the hospitals.

There are some deficiencies in the Global Bidding Procedures as currently proposed by Steward.  Most importantly, the Global Bidding Procedures does not require potential bidders to include information regarding their proposed treatment of employees, their benefit and pension plans, or collective bargaining agreements in their bids.  We intend to address this and other concerns with Steward and will file an objection with the Bankruptcy Court if these issues cannot be resolved.

In addition to monitoring the bankruptcy process, 1199SEIU has been appointed to the Unsecured Creditors Committee (UCC), and will be represented our EVP Tim Foley. The UCC serves as a fiduciary for all of Steward’s unsecured creditors, with access to information and significant power to influence the case in order to obtain the most just and equitable treatment possible for all constituent parties.

Additionally, 1199ers from Steward hospitals met with Chris Harding, undersecretary of health and human services, and Robbie Goldstein, commissioner of the department of public health, on May 15th, as a part of 1199's annual healthcare and homecare advocacy day. Members shared their struggles in continuing to work during these uncertain times and pushed for Massachusetts officials to do everything possible to keep our hospitals in our communities. 

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