Attorney General Mayes Announces Investigation into Steward Health Care’s Bankruptcy

PHOENIX – In response to Steward Health Care’s bankruptcy filing in a Texas bankruptcy court on May 6, 2024, and news of its planned auction of four Arizona hospitals, Attorney General Kris Mayes announced that she is opening an investigation into the circumstances leading up to Steward Health Care’s filing and is considering intervening in the bankruptcy proceeding due to its potential negative effects on Arizona patients, providers, healthcare workers, and vendors.
“Arizonans deserve to know more about the circumstances that led to Steward’s bankruptcy filing. I am deeply concerned about the potential impact this could have on Arizona patients and medical providers,” said Attorney General Mayes. “No matter who ultimately ends up owning and operating these facilities, I am committed to ensuring that no Arizonan is harmed by this bankruptcy, and I will fight to ensure that these hospitals remain open at all times to care for patients without any degradation of service.”
Steward announced it is selling all of its 31 hospitals nationwide. The auction of Steward’s Arizona-based hospitals is currently proposed for June 28, 2024. The affected hospitals include:

  • Florence Hospital in Florence
  • Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa
  • St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center in Phoenix
  • Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital in Tempe

In addition to these four hospitals, Steward also operates numerous medical practices throughout the state. In March, Steward had announced its plan to sell its physician group to Optum, owned by UnitedHealth Group. Although that deal was not completed before the bankruptcy filing, it is not clear what Steward now intends to do with its provider groups or other non-hospital assets.
Attorney General Mayes will endeavor to protect the confidentiality of patient health information and employee records and advocate for employees and vendors to be paid what they are fairly owed. She will also fight to ensure that prospective buyers do not take advantage of Steward’s bankruptcy to acquire hospitals or medical practices when those buyers would otherwise be barred from acquiring them due to the antitrust laws.