For Immediate Release - January 14, 2015

Steward Agrees to Keep Quincy Emergency Services Open for Up to Two Years

Veterans Health Care will also be Maintained; Transportation to a Variety of Health Services will be Provided

BOSTON – In an action that will maintain access to emergency services for up to two years and continue care for veterans, Attorney General Martha Coakley entered into a settlement with Steward Health Care allowing the closure of Quincy Medical Center (QMC) as long as it follows the conditions of the agreement.

“Maintaining emergency room care services and access to high-quality health care in Quincy is a priority for my office,” AG Coakley said. “This action ensures that the emergency services will remain open for up to two years, and can only be closed earlier if the Department of Public Health determines that it is not being used sufficiently by the public. This also ensures that basic access to veterans’ health care is maintained.”

Under the terms of the settlement reached today, Steward is required to maintain emergency room care services in Quincy for up to two years. The emergency services must be located at QMC for a minimum of the first year, through December 31, 2015. In order to shut down emergency care after Dec. 31, 2015, Steward must provide the AG’s Office and the Department of Public Health (DPH) with evidence sufficient to demonstrate that the utilization of the services is insufficient to warrant continuation.

According to the agreement, Steward will relocate the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic at QMC to a site chosen by and consistent with all the necessary requirements of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to the agreement, until at least Oct. 1, 2018, Steward will also provide:

  • Primary care and specialty physician services in Quincy either through Steward Medical Group or Steward Health Care Network;
  • A patient transportation program linking the emergency room, the QMC, Manet Community Health Center, the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic and Steward facilities including Carney and St. Elizabeth hospitals;
  • Continued community benefit programs and charity care;
  • Services to Medicare and Medicaid patients;
  • Services to emergency patients regardless of ability to pay and consistent with applicable law; and
  • A transition for employees of the QMC worth $16 million through re-employment, early retirement, severances or other means.

If Steward fails to meet its obligations regarding emergency care services, it will pay $30,000 for each month a violation occurs, up to a maximum of $360,000. In addition, the AG will be entitled to specific performance, injunctive relief, and such other equitable remedies as a court may deem appropriate.