Catholic Hospitals Play ‘Important Role’ in U.S. Safety Net, Study Says
Catholic hospitals play an "important role" in the nation's health care safety net in their provision of care to people who are uninsured or underinsured, according to a new study from the Catholic Health Association, Bloomberg/Detroit News reports (Bloomberg/Detroit News, 11/19). The study, titled "A Commitment to Caring: The Role of Catholic Hospitals in the Health Care Safety Net," is based on case studies of seven Catholic hospitals. Researchers at Georgetown University's Institute for Health Care Research and Policy found that Catholic hospitals provide many "important services" beyond traditional charity care, "resist" a "two-tiered" health care system and are under "extreme financial pressure" because of the demand for charity care. Many Catholic hospitals "would not be able to sustain their safety net mission" without the financial support of their parent Catholic health systems, according to the report. The study calls on lawmakers to "strengthen" financial support for the U.S. safety net system and "recognize the role of Catholic health care providers" (Catholic Health Association release, 11/18). The complete study is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view this report.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.