Catholic hospital ownership ramps up

Due to hospital mergers and acquisitions, the number of Catholic-oriented hospitals in the U.S. has grown steadily in recent years, up 22 percent since 2001. Now, nearly 17 percent of all hospital beds in the country have a Catholic affiliation, according to a new report by MergerWatch. In some states, 30 percent of all hospitals are owned by or affiliated with the Catholic church. "In general, Catholic hospitals provide excellent care," Lois Uttley, director of MergerWatch and one of the report's authors, told Reuters. "Our concern is with these restrictions with reproductive healthcare." Overall, there are 46 Catholic hospitals that are sole community providers for specific geographic areas. Read the full article at FierceHealthcare

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