CHA Statement on Recent Lown Institute Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     
April 12, 2022

Contact: Brian Reardon

Statement by Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, President and Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Health Association of the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – "The Lown Institute's recent report on community benefit spending among tax-exempt hospitals and health systems cherry-picks data to create an inaccurate assessment of how these organizations support the communities they serve.

"As the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), our mission and that of our members is to build a just health system that works for everyone. Non-profit Catholic hospitals in the United States annually invest about $11 billion in community benefit spending to address the problems of chronic illness, poverty, disparities, environmental dangers and other social determinants of health that directly affect our communities.

"To present a full picture of a tax-exempt hospital or health system's community benefit contributions, it is critical to look at the complete set of data reported to the federal government. This data set includes charity care, Medicaid shortfall, costs of other means-tested government programs, community health improvement services and community benefit operations, health professions education, subsidized health services, research, cash and in-kind contributions for community benefit.

"Additionally, individual hospitals provide community benefits that are not accounted for in the federal calculation, whether they are local activities funded by a hospital's parent or affiliate system, activities provided at a loss like low-interest loans to community organizations or payments in lieu of taxes to local governments, or activities that address the social determinants of health through improving economic and social conditions, such as local hiring, purchasing, and capital investments in underserved communities. These additional vital services help distinguish Catholic health care in the communities they serve.

"The important data left out of the Lown Institute's report creates an inaccurate picture of the vital and important community work that Catholic health care providers, hospitals and health systems do across the nation."



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