Breaking News: Challenge to Catholic Hospital Mergers in Washington State, Medicare Solvency and More

Challenge of Catholic Hospital Systems and affiliations/purchase of publicly funded hospitals in Washington State.

The ACLU and 10 Women’s Organizations sent a letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee on May 31st, requesting a moratorium on any additional purchases/alliances of Catholic health and hospital systems with non-Catholic hospitals.  Here is the letter:

http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2013/05/31/1370019267-hospital_mergers_ltr_to_gov.pdf

Here are the Church’s directives that are a concern to many organizations.

http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2013/05/31/1370020181-hospital_mergers_ltr_attachment_b.pdf

Meanwhile, Catholic Health Partners Acquired Kaiser Permanente, Ohio on Friday

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130531/INFO/305319994?AllowView=VW8xUmo5Q21TcWJOb1gzb0tNN3RLZ0h0MWg5SVgra3NZRzROR3l0WWRMWGJVZjRBRWxIeU96eTMyWmV1NUgwWUpiV2w=&utm_source=link-20130531-INFO-305319994&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mpdaily

This will be an increasingly hot issue, raising questions about the role of religion and publicly supported institutions.   We did not have time to research challenges in other states, but will do so for our next issue.  There was a challenge in Denver about three years ago.

Fight over Affordable Care Act to turn very ugly.

Given the House’s failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there will be a heightened campaign in the 2014 election to undo provisions of the act, each party making the Affordable Care Act a pillar of the 2014 election.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/30/politics/obamacare-summer-battle/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Medicare Trust Fund Solvency Extended

Thanks to leveling off of health care costs, the Medicare Trust Fund is expected to be solvent two years longer than was expected last year.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/13efbb67239fa1de

Fraud of the Week:  $11 million

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nv/news/2013/20130529_phankonsy.html

Finally, coming next week, installment 2 on technology costs, regulation, effectiveness and safety.

Kathleen O’Connor, May 31, 2013

About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Connor: 30+ year health care consumer advocate, non-profit executive and author. For more information about Kathleen, please see "About" on the main content bar above.
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