Private Equity's Hospitals: A Business Model for the Obamacare Era?

Boston’s Steward Health Care System has a business model for the Obamacare era. Is it a bold vision or a private equity investment gone wrong?
A nurse monitors several ERs at Steward’s EICU Photograph by Harry Gould Harvey IV for Bloomberg Businessweek

Ralph de la Torre is dressed in a gray pinstripe suit, white shirt, and orange tie. His graying hair has been carefully trimmed. He looks like a Wall Street guy, and talks like one, too. “I know the numbers like the back of my hand—the quality scores, the heart failure scores,” says de la Torre, chairman and chief executive officer of Steward Health Care System, the Boston-based hospital chain owned by Cerberus Capital Management. “I know the financials. I feel compelled to know this business as well as anybody.”

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