Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Oakland, Calif., will put its weight behind a new coalition being formed to promote not-for-profit healthcare.
Kaiser Chairman David M. Lawrence, M.D., told an audience of Catholic hospital executives that not-for-profit providers are in a contest to demonstrate "that what we do and how we choose to do it work better for patients, the members and the community" than for-profit structures.
Lawrence was speaking at the Catholic Health Association's annual assembly last week in Chicago.
An advocacy group for not-for-profit healthcare is being put together by T.J. Sullivan, a former top Internal Revenue Service official and now a private tax attorney with Gardner, Carton & Douglas (March 17, p. 2). Last week Sullivan declined to discuss the group, saying it would hold a meeting later this month at which he would ask permission to go public with its plans.
Lawrence left the CHA meeting immediately following his speech and was unavailable for questions.
In his talk, he urged not-for-profit organizations to commit a specific percentage of profit margin or revenues to direct community benefit. For example, Kaiser pledges to devote 3% of its gross revenues to community benefits, roughly one-third of that targeted to children. Such explicit commitments help strengthen organizations' ties to communities, he argued.