Steward Health Care must keep the emergency room at Quincy Medical Center open for up to two years as part of a settlement reached with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Wednesday.
The health care company intends to eventually close the hospital, but as part of the deal with the attorney general it must offer sufficient care until the state Department of Public Health deems that the hospital is no longer needed by the public.
“Maintaining emergency room care services and access to high-quality health care in Quincy is a priority for my office,” 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.”
At the very minimum, emergency services must be offered at Quincy Medical Center until Dec. 31, 2015.
Other stipulations of the settlement require Steward Health to relocate the VA outpatient clinic currently at Quincy to a site that meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Through Oct. 1, 2018, Steward Health also must provide primary care and specialty services in Quincy, Massachusetts, either through its medical group or network; patient transportation from the Quincy Medical Center emergency room to other health care facilities in the area; Medicare and Medicaid services; community and charity programs; and transition services to employees who will be affected by the closing of the Quincy Medical Center.
Failure to comply with any part of the settlement could result in penalties of up to $360,000.