Health Care Better at Catholic Hospitals

Catholic and other church-owned health systems demonstrate greater quality and efficiency than not-for-profit or investor-owned systems, according to a new analysis by Thomson Reuters. The analysis released Aug. 9 divided 255 U.S. health systems into four ownership categories and then compared them according to eight performance measures, including mortality rates, complications, patient safety, readmission rates and average length of stay. "Catholic and other church-owned systems are significantly more likely to provide higher quality performance and efficiency to the communities served than investor-owned systems," said a report prepared by David Foster of Thomson Reuters' Center for Healthcare Improvement in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Catholic health systems are also significantly more likely to provide higher quality performance to the communities served than secular not-for-profit systems," it added. "Investor-owned systems have significantly lower performance than all other groups." Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who is president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, said that in Catholic hospitals, "quality is a primary commitment flowing from mission. Everyone from the sponsors, boards, clinicians and support staff takes it very seriously," she said. "We are pleased to see this independent confirmation of the success of our efforts.”

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