Steward Health Care to acquire Mass. Hospital

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Morton Hospital and Medical Center, a 154-bed hospital in Taunton, Mass., has agreed to be acquired by Steward Health Care System.

The deal will enable Morton to leverage Steward’s extensive investment in clinical IT, according to a statement from the hospital.

Steward, based in Boston, is the largest community-based accountable care organization (ACO) and community hospital network in New England. Its ACO is built around a large network of Massachusetts physicians and a system of community hospitals. In the past three years, Steward has invested more than $100 million in clinical IT, Morton hospital stated.

Steward's system-wide infrastructure enables its physicians to accept global payment contracts from insurers, and physicians are financially rewarded for keeping patients healthy, the statement said.

As part of the affiliation agreement, according to Morton, Steward will provide the hospital with:

  • A 10-year capital commitment with an estimated $110 million to $120 million investment, including $25.5 million in the first year with a $10 million investment in immediate clinical IT upgrades and expansion.
  • Assumption of all unfunded liability related to Morton's pension plan (currently $30.5 million)
  • Immediate repayment of $28 million in debt related to Morton Hospital and its affiliates