Florida health system donors redirect funds amid admissions policy controversy

Providers around Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System are seeing increased financial support as donors shift their gaze from the health system in light of a controversial admissions policy, according to the Naples Daily News.

Four things to know:

1. NCH physicians and staff, as well as the local community, have repeatedly voiced their concerns over NCH's new admissions policy. It tasks employed hospitalists with handling more patient admissions in certain units. Allen Weiss, MD, president and CEO of NCH, has said concerns over the policy have largely been misunderstood as distressing toward physicians.

2. Still, philanthropic residents who are slimming their donations to NCH are boosting financial support at other providers like Neighborhood Health Clinic in Naples. The clinic treats uninsured and underinsured patients. Nancy Lascheid, BSN, RN, co-founder of the clinic, told the Naples Daily News, "We are seeing a slight increase in donations which are new to our clinic. Often there are notes attached referring to that [NCH] reason."

3. Neighborhood Health Clinic had a relationship with NCH; however, the relationship ended in April 2018. Ms. Lascheid told the publication NCH said it was not admitting Neighborhood patients who needed additional services. NCH-employed physicians have also claimed NCH told them to no longer volunteer at Neighborhood.

4. On Jan. 10, news surfaced that NCH canceled one of its prominent fundraisers scheduled for March. While some critics suggested the move resulted from donors pulling their support due to the admissions policy, NCH told the Naples Daily News: "Due to the generosity of its donors and an extremely successful fundraising quarter, NCH is on track to meet its donation targets for the year. We are grateful to our donors who contribute to NCH so that we can continue to provide the highest quality care to the Naples community."

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