Update: Steward Health Care finalises agreement to take over hospitals

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Steward Health Care finalises agreement to take over hospitalsUpdate with Government statement below – Steward Health Care System LLC, in a statement today, has said that it has finalised a public-private partnership agreement to become Malta’s public health care partner and medical facility operator and “to deliver exceptional health care to the people of Malta.”

The company added that it will also work with renowned Barts Medical School to open a satellite medical school in Gozo.

The company said that through the public-private partnership that resulted from Steward’s purchase of Vitals Global Healthcare’s concessions to run facilities entrusted to it, “Steward will also construct and run campus facilities for Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and offer Steward hospitals as teaching facilities for medical students. Steward intends to invest in these facilities so that they stay and thrive in Malta.”

In a statement issued from Boston, Steward, said it is physician-led and the largest private hospital operator in the United States and is now the “government of Malta’s health care partner and will run a number of public medical facilities in the country.”

Dr. Ralph de la Torre, Chairman and CEO of Steward Health Care said, “Steward’s innovative care model has successfully helped patients across the United States receive high-quality care while reducing medical expenses.”

“We look forward to implementing this new model of exceptional care in Malta. We will invest in the medical facilities entrusted to us, upgrading them into state-of the-art hospitals, and will help ensure that the Maltese people live healthy, active lives,” he added.

The company said that it has “transformed health care in America by turning around struggling hospitals and embedding them in a new, comprehensive delivery model that is designed to support local communities and produce better health outcomes for patients.”

It has 36 community hospitals across ten states and employs approximately 40,000 health care professionals, adding that it “regularly receive top awards for quality and safety, including the “Gold Ribbon Seal in Healthcare” from the Joint Commission on Accreditation and an “A” rating for Hospital Safety from the Leapfrog Group.”

The company quoted Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in the statement as saying that, “Steward Health Care shares our same vision for the future of healthcare in Malta,”

The quote by the Prime Minster continued, “our resolve to upgrade Malta and Gozo’s healthcare services to world-class levels has been given a further boost through this partnership. With its impressive track-record, Steward is the ideal partner to realise such a critical infrastructural upgrade of our hospitals while offering the best medical services to patients.”

Dr. Armin Ernst, President of Steward Health Care International LLC remarked, “Steward has achieved extraordinary results in the United States, by pioneering a new model for care that rewards doctors and nurses for keeping patients healthy and close to home.”

“We look forward to bringing this model, and Steward’s innovative technology, to the people of Malta and Gozo so they receive world-class care that remains free,” he added.

Steward said that it has built some of the “most innovative health care technologies in the United States, which have been at the heart of the company’s success in improving care for patients.”

“These technology-enabled platforms help to predict diseases and illnesses before they spread, reduce excess time a patient spends in the hospital, and leverage analytics to help administrators plan appropriate staffing levels. Steward also utilises state-of-the-art electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic intensive care units (eICU) across its system. The company intends to deploy these technologies in Malta and Gozo,” it said..

Steward Health Care operates 36 community hospitals nationwide that includes more than 25 urgent care centres, 42 preferred skilled nursing facilities, substantial behavioural health services, over 7,300 beds under management, and approximately 1.5 million full risk covered lives through the company’s managed care and health insurance services. The total number of panelled lives within Steward’s integrated care network is projected to reach 3 million in 2018, the company said.

Update with Government statement

The Government said that it welcomes this development and £remains fully committed to ensure that all obligations as set out in the concession agreement are adhered to, which ensures the completion of world-class facilities for the Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Hospital as well as setting up the renowned Barts Medical School in Malta.”

“This agreement with the operator in the US, Steward, confirms the government’s plans to consolidate and upgrade the free provision of medical care to all patients, while safeguarding the rights of medical healthcare professionals in Malta and Gozo,” the government concluded.

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