Boston Hospital Case Study In Balancing Mission And Profits

The Boston Globe: A proposed acquisition of Boston's Catholic hospital system Caritas Christi Health Care by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management may test the theory that "profitability and religious mission can be integrated." However, another local hospital provides a possible window into that future. Saint Vincent Hospital provides health care "in accordance with Catholic teachings" -- for instance, the local bishop is a board member and the facility eschews abortions. But, its profit-driven owner, Vanguard Health Systems of Nashville, has sought to preserve its Catholic identity at the same time as it shifted the facility from a nonprofit to for-profit hospital. Cerberus and Caritas's leaders are making the case that the proposed acquisition could strike the same balance.

According to the Globe, "Skeptics remain. Kathleen M. Boozang, an associate dean and professor at Seton Hall Law School, sees a 'fundamental dissonance'" between for-profit health care and the work of the Catholic church (Wangness, 4/28).

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