Sluggish hospital donations deter healthcare improvements

Charitable donations to nonprofit hospitals have decelerated in the wake of the recession, lagging behind their construction, equipment and patient needs, according to a new survey from the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

"There was a definite downward drift in securing pledges during the 2010 fiscal year, the period covered by our latest survey," AHP President and CEO William C. McGinlys said in a statement.

The AHP warned that delayed donation decision-making would hinder innovation and quality care improvements.

With shrinking Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and growing uncompensated care, nonprofit hospitals have been implementing various philanthropic strategies to boost contributions. For instance, board members at East Phillips County Hospital District in Colorado have started "friend-raising" to raise community awareness and support of the hospital, as well money. And Saint Clare's Hospital in Wisconsin specifically is seeking out young board members to bring in fresh fundraising ideas.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to share $675 million in charity care payments more equitably among hospitals in the state, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

To learn more:
- read the AHP press release
- check out the survey
- here's the Newark Star-Ledger article