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October 27, 2023

UMass Memorial Health groups sue Boston hospital over $688K in delinquent payments

Photo | Grant Welker UMass Memorial Medical Center's Memorial Campus in Worcester

UMass Memorial Medical Group and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester have initiated a lawsuit against St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center of Boston, part of Steward Health Care System, for nonpayment of services.

In the lawsuit, UMass Memorial alleges the medical center is delinquent on a total of $688,000 in guaranteed quarterly payments for radiation oncology services. 

UMass Memorial and St. Elizabeth’s entered into a professional services agreement in 2012, wherein it was agreed UMass would provide some radiation oncology services delivered by UMass Memorial Medical Group employees for a fee including guaranteed quarterly payments, according to court documents filed Thursday at the Middlesex County Superior Court. 

The lawsuit alleges starting in March 2022, St. Elizabeth’s failed to make the quarterly payments. In July 2023, UMass Memorial terminated the services agreement with St. Elizabeth’s, to be effective on Oct. 20, 2023, according to the court filing. 

St. Elizabeth’s in September paid UMass Memorial $70,843 for two of the delinquent quarterly payments, according to court documents, but remains delinquent for five additional quarters, amounting to $319,158, the lawsuit alleges.

In February 2016, St. Elizabeth’s contracted additional radiation oncology services from UMass Memorial Medical Group staff in the form of physicists and dosimetrists, members of a radiation oncology team. Following the same timeline as the first count of payment delinquency, St. Elizabeth’s has paid $168,194 in delinquent payments, but carries a balance of $336,852 owed to UMass Memorial.

The Worcester medical group says in the lawsuit it has made good faith attempts to arrange for payment. According to the court filing, St. Elizabeth’s has not disputed the charges, but has ignored the payment obligations. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. 

St. Elizabeth’s did not respond to requests for comment from WBJ on Friday morning. UMass Memorial Health – the parent organization for both UMass Memorial Medical Group and UMass Memorial Medical Center – told WBJ they do not comment on pending litigation.

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