Charity care study highlights inherent challenge of safety-net hospitals, Sinai Health System CEO says

The CEO of Illinois' largest safety-net healthcare system said a new study showing that the highest-earning nonprofit hospitals give less charity care than lower-earning ones shows the challenges hospitals face in serving vulnerable patients.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, analyzed data from 2,563 nonprofit short-term general hospitals.

Karen Teitelbaum, president and CEO of Chicago-based Sinai Health System, told Becker's Hospital Review the study highlights the struggles of safety-net hospitals.

"Systems like Sinai Health System are providing a more significant percentage of charity care in relation to our revenues because that’s what our patients need," she said.

"We provided over $30 million in charity care last year," added Ms. Teitelbaum. "But given that charity care and the fact that more than 90 percent of our patients are covered through Medicaid, Medicare or uninsured, we face greater dependency on appropriate and timely payments from MCOs [managed care organizations]. There's a heavier burden on safety nets to do more with less than ever before."

Read more about the study here



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