More nonprofit hospitals come under for-profit's sights

The for-profit Steward Health Care System, which manages the Caritas Christi hospitals in eastern Massachusetts, is on the verge of acquiring two more non-profit facilities in the region, reports the Boston Globe.

Steward appears to be the leading bidder for Morton Hospital and Medical Center in Taunton and has a preliminary agreement in place to purchase Saints Medical Center in Lowell. It beat out bids from Vanguard Health System, another for-profit operator, and non-profit Southcoast Hospitals Group. The company is owned by the deep-pocketed investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.

"We've made them a very fair and competitive offer,'' said Keith Hovan, chief executive of Southcoast, which bid for Morton. "And we've made a commitment to keep their campus open. But there is this for-profit phenomenon emerging in the state.''

Along with the transactions involving Steward, Northeast Health Systems in Beverly is being bid on by for-profit operators, while Quincy Cambridge Medical Center and Cambridge Health Systems may also pursue alliances with for-profits.

For more:
- read the Boston Globe story
- read the Providence Business News story