Union commissions study on Catholic Health System: 4 findings

Communications Workers of America, a union that represents thousands of workers in the Buffalo, N.Y.-based Catholic Health System, is looking at the system's financial strengths and weaknesses as it prepares for future contract negotiations, according to The Buffalo News.

The union commissioned a study that details financial information for Catholic Health, as well as Catholic Health's competitor, Buffalo-based Kaleida Health. The study was conducted by Fred Hyde, MD, an independent healthcare consultant. Dr. Hyde is a clinical professor in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

Here are four findings from the study,

1. Catholic Health has amassed an extraordinary amount of cash, more than $322 million on hand as of Dec. 31, 2014, while the much larger Kaleida Health had $96 million on hand at the same time.

2. Catholic Health had an increase of patient revenue from 2011 to 2014 of $140 million, while expenses have increased by only $112 million.

3. Kaleida Health community benefit was substantially greater than Catholic Health's community benefit. Catholic Health hospitals averaged 6 percent community benefit from 2011 to 2014, Kaleida averaged 13.35 percent, or more than double the Catholic Health community benefit percentage.

4. Catholic Health workers averaged increases of 4 percent per year, declining to .6 percent in the most recent year.

Catholic Health officials said Tuesday they couldn’t comment on specific claims in the report because they hadn't yet seen the document, according to The Buffalo News. However, according to the report, they said the system is transparent and treats employees fairly.


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