Steward plans to close hospital in Stoughton; Delta expects strong Christmas travel 


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A passenger wears a face mask as she waits in a socially-distance area for a Delta Airlines flight, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

A long-term care and rehabilitation hospital intends to shut down due to multi-million-dollar losses, making Stoughton the latest community to lose a health care facility as part of a growing trend throughout the commonwealth.

Dallas-based Steward Health Care, which describes itself as the largest owner of community-based hospitals in Massachusetts and fourth biggest private employer, plans to close its New England Sinai Acute Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Hospital (NESH) by early April.

“Nearly 75% of Steward hospital patients are public pay (Medicare and Medicaid) which chronically underpay, sometimes at rates less than the cost of delivering services,” Steward said in a press release this week. “As a result of these chronic low reimbursement rates, Steward has lost $22 million from NESH operations and cannot afford to keep the facility open. Unlike ‘non-profit’ systems, Steward does not have a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio to fall back on.”

The hospital plans to submit its formal 90-day notice of the closure, which is required under state law, on or around Jan. 3.

Delta expects strong Christmas travel

After seeing record revenue over Thanksgiving, Delta Air Lines expects another busy holiday period over the year-end holidays and Christmas, as it targets customers with plenty of disposable income to spend on travel.

“Christmas is shaping up to be a very, very strong close to the year,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein said Wednesday during an investor conference in New York.

The busy December holiday travel period starts in less than two weeks, and industry experts say demand has been strong for both domestic and international travel.

Delta also said it’s already seeing strong demand for trans-Atlantic flights into 2024.

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