Catholic Hospitals Take on Heavy Load
A new study shows that the Catholic Church is the largest private provider of health care in New York state and handles a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients. The report, released by Catholics for a Free Choice, found that 41 of the state’s 269 hospitals are Catholic institutions, serving 7.9 million people annually. Catholic hospitals tend to serve low-income people- 35 of them treat an above-average number of Medicaid patients.
The majority of patients at the state’s Catholic hospitals are publicly insured: Medicare paid for 45% of inpatient days, while Medicaid paid for 17%. Not surprisingly, Catholic hospitals also tend to lose money. As a group, they lost $128 million on $3.8 billion in patient revenue in 2000.
The reliance of low-income New Yorkers on these facilities raises some concerns, says the sponsoring group because Catholic hospitals generally do not offer services like sterilization or abortion.
Nonetheless, pregnant women in New York state are considerably more likely to have abortions than pregnant women in the country as a whole, even though more than 40% of the state’s residents are Catholic.
This article courtesy of Crain’s Health Pulse.