:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Monday, November 28, 2005  

I heart Consejo de Latinos Unidos

California based Consejo de Latinos Unidos brought the issue of 'price-gouging of uninsured patients by hospitals who receive millions in tax breaks' to national attention first. Now they're holdin' the catholic hospitals to their religion and mission. What happened to "thou shalt not price-gouge your neighbor?" It's simple -- nonprofit hospitals (under which Catholic hospitals fall) receive tons of tax breaks (on property, on income, etc) as compensation for providing low-cost and charity care to folks. Then they don't provide this service, and charge uninsured patients up to 7 times what they would charge Medicare or private insurance companies, and pocket millions to billions in tax-free profits.

Something wrong with this picture?

From today's Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:
Catholic not-for-profit hospitals are reaping high profits while charging uninsured patients up to seven times as much as those covered by Medicare, according to a report by Consejo de Latinos Unidos, the Denver Post reports. The report, which is based on annual tax returns filed by seven large Catholic health systems, found that net income at the hospitals doubled between 2003 and 2004. The hospital systems also have amassed $20 billion in cash and investments. For example, Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives reported revenues of $5.9 billion during the first nine months of fiscal year 2005, an increase of 5.6% from the same period last year. In addition, CHI's investment income increased to $203.4 million, compared with an $80 million loss in 2003. Revenues increased 10.5% to $7.4 billion in FY 2004. Catholic Healthcare West, which has $3 billion in nontaxable assets, made $249 million in tax-free profits in 2004, according to the report. Sister Carol Keehan, a spokesperson for the Catholic Health Association, said the nation's "turbulent health care system" requires Catholic hospitals to "maintain large financial reserves" to ensure continuous operation.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 11/28/2005 10:23:00 PM | |


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