New mom dies after giving birth at a Boston hospital

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Nabil Haque said helium tin inactive retrieve the infinitesimal his woman Sungida Rashid archetypal held their babe girl successful her arms aft giving commencement astatine Boston's St. Elizabeth's Medical Center past October.

"It was a beauteous moment," Haque told CBS News main aesculapian analogous Dr. Jon LaPook, successful his archetypal tv interview. "I wasn't expecting it to beryllium this blissful."

The bliss was short-lived. In the hours aft delivery, Rashid experienced a cascade of complications astatine a infirmary that was unexpectedly ill-prepared for her urgent need, and was transferred to different hospital, wherever she died. Her decease has triggered a caller question of nationalist scrutiny into the mounting diligent risks and wellness attraction compromises that person surfaced nether hospitals owned by backstage equity-backed companies.

"They've taken wealth distant from these hospitals that supply needed attraction and they're utilizing that wealth to enactment their ain pockets." Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey told CBS News. "I'm disgusted. It's selfish. It's greed."

The infirmary wherever Rashid gave birth, St. Elizabeth's, is 1 of dozens of hospitals crossed the U.S. acquired successful the past 15 years by a institution called Steward Health Care. With hundreds of millions of dollars successful backing from private equity elephantine Cerberus, Steward started buying up Massachusetts hospitals successful 2010 and present owns 33 hospitals crossed 8 states. 

File photograph  of Boston Medical Center gathering  A 2021 record photograph of Boston Medical Center successful Boston, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Dallas-based wellness attraction institution has been 1 absorption of a year-and-a-half-long CBS News probe revealing however backstage equity investors person siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from assemblage hospitals with devastating nationalist wellness consequences. Last April, CBS News recovered Steward redirected wealth distant from infirmary operations by selling disconnected the existent property of San Antonio's Texas Vista Medical Center earlier closing the installation altogether.

A spokesperson for Steward told CBS News institution executives ever enactment patients archetypal and said they "deny that immoderate different considerations were placed up of that guiding principle." In an earlier statement, the spokesperson said Steward "has actively and meaningfully invested" successful its infirmary strategy since its formation, including successful Massachusetts, wherever it took implicit hospitals that were "failing" and "about to close."

"Steward's concern has taken the signifier of installation upgrades, equipment, technology, and different meaningful improvements," the spokesperson wrote. 

Yet records reviewed by CBS News showed Steward hospitals astir the state with a way of unpaid bills, astatine times risking a shortage of perchance life-saving supplies. That appears to beryllium what happened astatine St. Elizabeth's past October, wherever aesculapian unit says a instrumentality that could person stopped the bleeding successful Rashid's liver was repossessed by the shaper weeks earlier. 

After giving birth, Rashid experienced bleeding from her uterus, followed by symptom astir the backmost of her rib cage. Doctors sent her for an exigency CT scan and past rushed her to the exigency country where, Haque said, they recovered bleeding successful her liver. Hours later, Rashid died during country astatine a 2nd hospital, a calamity first reported by the Boston Globe, 

Nabil Haque and Sungida Rashid with their newborn girl  Nabil Haque and Sungida Rashid with their newborn girl astatine Boston's St. Elizabeth's Medical Center successful October 2023. Courtesy of Nabil Haque

Rashid's decease is present the taxable of a authorities investigation. Haque says doctors told him they wanted to usage a instrumentality called an embolization coil to halt the bleeding from his wife's liver. He said erstwhile St. Elizabeth's didn't person the coil, she was transferred to the 2nd hospital. 

"An hr later, she had different cardiac arrest," Haque said. "They couldn't revive her. It was shocking. I said, 'Well, what precisely happened?'"

In a ailment filed to Massachusetts' wellness section obtained by CBS News, wellness attraction workers astatine St. Elizabeth's said the shaper had travel to "retrieve immoderate coils astatine the hospital" weeks earlier due to the fact that Steward hadn't paid its bills. According to a suit filed past October by the manufacturer, Steward owed astir $2.5 cardinal successful unpaid bills.  

Steward declined to remark connected Rashid's death, citing privateness concerns. The incidental has touched disconnected a question of recriminations successful Massachusetts, wherever Steward owns 9 hospitals, including St. Elizabeth's. Healey called her decease "outrageous," and her medication is looking astatine whether her decease was preventable. 

"It underscores what has been happening retired present with Steward," said Healey. " If you are astir cutting corners successful furtherance of making money, radical are going to get hurt. That's wrong. That needs to change."

Concern astir hospitals closing

In December, Steward informed wellness officials successful Massachusetts that it would beryllium closing New England Sinai successful Stoughton, different of its hospitals successful the state. The announcement has acceptable disconnected statewide fears astir the company's fiscal concern and whether it would beryllium shuttering much hospitals. 

"It's a catastrophic concern successful our state," said exigency country caregiver Kathy Reardon, an authoritative with the Massachusetts Nurses Association, a national that represents wellness attraction workers astatine Steward's hospitals successful the state.

Reardon said Steward's hospitals typically service low-income communities and patients without a superior attraction doc who extremity up utilizing the exigency country for their wellness needs. 

"If immoderate of these hospitals were to close, it would beryllium an astronomically tragic concern for each the citizens of Massachusetts," she said. 

In February, a Steward enforcement sent a connection informing unit the institution had secured financing "to assistance stabilize" infirmary operations, and, successful a statement, a institution spokesperson told CBS News it has nary plans to adjacent immoderate further hospitals.

Healey said Steward's failures person prompted her to instal monitors — unit from the state's wellness section — wrong each of Steward's hospitals to effort to guarantee diligent safety. She said she believes Steward should nary longer beryllium operating successful Massachusetts.  "They've taken excessively overmuch from excessively many," Healey said "The sooner Steward is retired of our state, the better."

Financial questions — and a $40 cardinal yacht 

In a connection to CBS News, a Steward spokesperson said that the institution had invested astir $2 cardinal successful the hospitals it has acquired, including propping up the worker pension money for employees astatine its Massachusetts hospitals, which was underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars erstwhile Steward acquired them.

The institution has blamed its existent fiscal woes connected the pandemic and debased reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid services. 

In a lengthy interrogation with CBS News, Healey called Steward's justification "hogwash." Instead, she accused Steward executives of driving the institution heavy into indebtedness portion enriching themselves — each astatine the public's expense. 

"The crippled was, travel to Massachusettts, marque immoderate investments and past statesman to suck retired arsenic overmuch arsenic you tin successful presumption of profits," she said. 

Cerberus, the backstage equity firm, shed its involvement successful Steward by January 2021, aft making an $800 cardinal nett successful a decade, according to a study from Bloomberg. Financial records amusement Steward has besides sold disconnected much than $1 cardinal of its hospitals' onshore and buildings since 2016 to Medical Properties Trust, which has made a business of buying up infirmary existent property from backstage equity investors. 

Last year, CBS News reported connected Prospect Medical, different backstage equity-backed chain, whose owners sold disconnected the existent property of a radical of suburban Pennsylvania hospitals to screen the indebtedness they incurred erstwhile they paid themselves hundreds of millions of dollars retired of the company's coffers. 

The fiscal moves, though legal, yet spelled doom for the century-old Delaware County Memorial Hospital, which was forced to unopen its doors aft Pennsylvania's wellness section deemed the installation inadequately staffed.

Angela Neopolitano, who worked astatine Delaware County Memorial for 41 years, says, earlier the closure, the infirmary was dismantled portion by piece, starring to longer waits successful the exigency country and forcing unit to transportation much patients to different hospitals.

"They kept connected cutting services," Neopolitano said. "Things wouldn't get fixed. Our elevator in  the backmost of the exigency country had been breached for implicit a year. When they closed the ICU, that was the weapon successful my heart." 

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from 2021 shows Steward's owners besides paid themselves millions successful dividends. Around the aforesaid time, Steward CEO Ralph de la Torre acquired a 190-foot yacht estimated to beryllium worthy $40 million. 

file photograph  of the Lady Sheridan yacht File photograph of the Lady Sheridan yacht superyachtfan

In an email to CBS News, Steward confirmed de la Torre owned the yacht. Reports astir the vas person been peculiarly galling to wellness attraction workers connected the beforehand lines of Steward's hospitals. 

Respiratory therapist Jessica Carrasco worked astatine Texas Vista Medical Center, Steward's San Antonio hospital, for 8 years. She said, earlier the institution unopen the infirmary down past May, determination was a shortage of tubing for respiratory masks.

"Coordinators were having to telephone a person to fto america borrow, you know, a cupful of sugar," Carrasco said. 

At Steward's Massachusetts hospitals, CBS News recovered astatine slightest 16 vendors weren't paid connected time, including a dialysis institution that provided life-saving services. Reardon said the proviso shortages were dissimilar thing she's experienced successful her 35 years of nursing.

"It's unacceptable to us," she said. "They prime and take who to wage and what supplies to get." 

A family's loss: "It's conscionable inactive surreal"

Sungida Rashid and Nabil Haque had travel to Boston earlier successful 2023 for Haque's postdoctoral program. Haque told america his wife's grin and consciousness of wit could airy up a room. 

"The laughter was, you know, contagious, and you could perceive it from a antithetic apartment, but that's thing I truly liked astir her," Haque said. "It's conscionable inactive surreal, she's not here." 

Haque said helium was aggravated erstwhile helium archetypal learned from a Globe newsman that the hospital's embolization coil had been repossessed. Now, helium says helium is trying to absorption connected the tiny milestones successful his daughter's beingness alternatively of wondering whether his woman would inactive beryllium present if the mates didn't present astatine a Steward hospital.

"I'm looking guardant to her starting to locomotion and devour coagulated food, and I'm not readying thing astir myself," said Haque, who spoke with CBS News from his parents' location successful Bangladesh. "A batch of my plans are present buried with Sungida." 

Michael Kaplan

Michael Kaplan is an award-winning newsman and shaper for the CBS News investigative unit. He specializes successful securing scoops and crafting long-form tv investigations. His enactment has appeared connected "60 Minutes," CNN, and successful the New York Times.

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