Sunday, January 22, 2012

Breaking: Catholic Healthcare West Ending Affiliation with Catholic Church

At the exact time the Obama administration is stripping away conscience protections, Catholic Healthcare West may be stripping away what's left of its Catholicism.

There is a Sacramento Bee web listing on google to this story, but it goes to a dead link. However there is a cached version of the Sacramento Bee story here. The Bee story says they plan to make an announcement Monday. Maybe the Bee released the story early by mistake. Anyway here is a segment, and you can read the whole thing at the link above.

In quest to grow, Catholic hospital system breaks from church

Kaiser Health News
Published Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

"WASHINGTON -- Catholic Healthcare West, one of the nation's largest hospital systems, is ending its affiliation with the Catholic Church and changing its name, two steps intended to help the system expand throughout the states in which it operates - California, Arizona and Nevada - and beyond.

The changes, which executives plan to announce Monday, underscore the challenges facing Catholic hospitals in the marketplace, where there are tremendous financial pressures for hospitals to merge or form alliances with other health-care providers to survive and thrive.

The change will have no effect on any patients or the medical care provided at the 25 Catholic and 15 secular hospitals in the system. But executives hope it will make it easier to merge or affiliate with other hospitals, doctors' practices and other health-care providers.

In the past few years, proposed mergers between Catholic and secular hospitals in Louisville, Ky., and Sierra Vista, Ariz., have collapsed in part because of concerns about the church's bans on abortion, in vitro fertilization and sterilization.

Other mergers have succeeded only with unusual contortions, such as in Troy, N.Y., where a separately licensed maternity ward free from Catholic doctrine was created on the second floor of a secular hospital taken over by a Catholic system. In Seattle, Swedish Medical Center last fall agreed to fund a Planned Parenthood office next door to quell objections about its planned affiliation with a Catholic system.

Lloyd Dean, the president and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, said the concerns about his system's Catholic affiliation have hampered some potential deals.

You remember Lloyd Dean--Obamacare supporter honored by the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco in 2010--another institution stripping away its Catholic identity.

"I have been contacted over the last couple of years by many, many different constituencies who have an interest in Catholic Healthcare West and what we have accomplished," Dean said. "But one of the things when we get down to what I'll call the real discussions as they confer with their boards is, 'What does the future mean if we're a non-Catholic entity? Will we have to become Catholic? What will be the Catholic influence?...."

Not much worry of that, I'd say.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

No comments: