The 'grateful patient' syndrome

When patients really, really like the care they receive, they often show it by making a contribution to the hospital. This happens so often the practice has a nickname, "grateful patient syndrome." According to one estimate, 23 percent of all U.S. households gave to health-related cause, averaging $257 per household. Wealthy households with at least $1 million in net worth gave an average of $21,257. (Often, however, mental health gets short shrift, as it still seems to have a stigma attached.) Ideally, critics say, loyal families not only give, but keep giving throughout their lives.

And of course, there's always high-profile cases such as when builder Kevork Hovananian donated $10 million to new York-Presbyterian after getting cardiac care there. Sometimes, even average families come up with large sums, like the Xitco family, which helped to pull together $600,000 in funds for Tacoma General Hospital after it gave great care to their premature infant.

To learn more about the giving patient:
- read this article in The New York Times

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