Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Community Catalyst, Inc., (MergerWatch)

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

March 2014

Grant Amount

$75,000

Grant Date:

May 2011–December 2012

The economic downturn of the last several years has spurred hospital consolidations across New York State.

Emerging partnerships between nonsectarian community hospitals and religiously affiliated facilities have led to some challenges in overcoming differences in organizational culture. Successful instances of hospital consolidation between these institutions have demonstrated creative approaches to reconciling differences in the services they offer, particularly with regard to reproductive health care.

In some consolidation cases, secular hospitals—working with the New York State Department of Health, local health providers, canon lawyers (experts in the laws and regulations governing entities connected to the Catholic Church), community groups, and Community Catalyst’s MergerWatch Project—were able to develop separately incorporated carve-outs (a hospital-within-the-hospital approach) at or adjacent to religiously affiliated hospitals to provide patient access to certain services. In other cases, nonsectarian hospitals were able to lift service restrictions at formerly religious hospitals they had acquired through name changes and sunset provisions.

In 2011, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded Community Catalyst, Inc., (MergerWatch) a grant to conduct an assessment of best practices from the mergers, affiliations, and acquisitions involving nonsectarian and religiously sponsored hospitals over the last 5–10 years in New York State.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned