KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospital Roundup: Catholic Facilities Losing Nuns’ Leadership; Georgia Infection Rates; New VA System For Louisiana

News outlets covered various aspects of hospital administration.

The New York Times: "In 1968, nuns or priests served as chief executives of 770 of the country’s 796 Catholic hospitals, according to the Catholic Health Association. Today, they preside over 8 of 636 hospitals. ... The leadership shift has stirred angst in many Catholic hospitals about whether the values imparted by the nuns, concerning the treatment of both patients and employees, can withstand bottom-line forces without their day-to-day vigilance. ... Catholic health systems have been criticized, along with other nonprofit hospitals, as not dedicating enough resources to the community’s benefit. But surveys also show that, on average, they provide higher-quality performance than other hospitals and are more likely to offer specialty services that are not profit centers" (Sack, 8/20).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "State law does not require Georgia hospitals to routinely share information about infection rates with the state’s infectious disease experts. It requires hospitals to notify public health officials when they have an outbreak or identify certain infectious conditions, such as tuberculosis or acute hepatitis. But most of the infections patients pick up inside hospitals do not have to be reported, despite the danger to public health" (Teegardin, 8/21).

New Orleans Times-Picayune: "As the University Medical Center governing board wrestles with the financing and scope of a planned state teaching hospital in Mid-City, federal authorities are quietly approaching the start of major construction for an adjacent Veterans Affairs Medical Center that will replace the downtown VA hospital that has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck six years ago. ... The planned 200-bed complex will anchor a health system that has spread across south Louisiana since Katrina and now serves 40,000 veterans in seven clinics" (Barrow, 8/21).

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