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Keeping the Faith - In Faith-based Healthcare Organizations

August 6, 2009
by Pete Rivera
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Healthcare reform may include Government funding for abortions. This is not a discussion on abortion, but the impact on faith-based healthcare organizations. How will these organizations react to funding or a mandate to receive these funds?

We are talking about a large number of prestigious organizations that would be affected; Catholic Healthcare West, Providence Healthcare, St. Vincent's, Mt. Sinai, Adventist, Deaconess...the list goes on. There are a total of 2,913 non-government, non-profit hospitals in the U.S. out of a total of 5,708 hospitals (Source AHA). Of course not all of these are faith based, but it represents a very large number.

Contingency planning and Risk Management takes scenarios like these into account. Are you prepared?

 

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Pete, you bring up a compelling point. This is one of the facets of healthcare reform that I believe many people haven't really thought about yet. It will be really interesting to see what happens on the government side, and how faith-based organizations react.

We are in for some very, very interesting times.

Agreed. Any mandate that says they need to cover abortions in order to receive funding will conflict with many of their Mission statements and Guiding principles.

I've worked in faith-based hospitals and there is often a tacit "looking the other way" when it comes to this issue. While abortion and birth control are clearly stated as not part of the Mission, indeed, in practice, front line caregivers would often quietly assist women who requested birth control/abortions by directing them to the proper venues. All done in a "don't ask don't tell" sort of scenario. But abortions in the hospital? That's going to be some dialogue, especially since many of the faith-based are barely surviving financially anyway, and a bottom line hit like this could be disastrous.

Pete Rivera

Director Informatics, Hayes Management Consulting

Pete Rivera

@Gator_Pete

www.Hayesmanagement.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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