UCSF Medical Center Backs Off Plan To Deepen Ties With Dignity Health

Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News

SAN FRANCISCO — UCSF Medical Center officers mentioned Tuesday they now not would pursue a formal affiliation with Dignity Health, a big Catholic well being care system that restricts care on the premise of spiritual doctrine.

The resolution follows months of heated protest from a whole lot of University of California-San Francisco school and staffers, who argued that such an association would compromise affected person care and threaten the famously progressive well being system’s popularity as a supplier of unbiased and evidence-based care.

In a letter to staff asserting the choice to finish negotiations, UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF Health President and CEO Mark Laret cited “strong concerns about a significantly expanded UCSF relationship with a health care system that has certain limits on women’s reproductive services, LGBTQ care, and end-of-life options.”

Dignity hospitals are sure by moral and non secular directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Among different prohibitions, Dignity hospitals ban abortions until the mom’s life is in danger, in vitro fertilization and physician-assisted loss of life. Twenty-four of Dignity’s 39 hospitals prohibit contraception companies and gender-confirming take care of transgender individuals, akin to hormone remedy and surgical procedures.

Under the proposed affiliation, UCSF would have remained impartial and continued to supply such companies, however UCSF physicians would have needed to abide by Dignity’s care restrictions whereas training at Dignity hospitals.

The proposal sharply cut up school and the medical employees at UCSF, who aired their variations in heated public boards. Supporters of a better alliance with Dignity mentioned it could add capability to a public well being care system that’s strapped for mattress house and turns away greater than 800 sufferers a 12 months. They additionally famous that Dignity is California’s largest non-public supplier for sufferers with Medi-Cal, the state-federal insurance coverage program for the poor.

Dignity, in the meantime, would have benefited from an influx of sufferers at hospitals that always function beneath capability.

The two programs have already got a relationship amongst a number of departments, together with neurology, adolescent psychology and pediatric burn care. The new proposal would have deepened the affiliation at Dignity’s 4 Bay Area hospitals.

UCSF mentioned the choice to finish negotiations was remodeled the previous a number of days, following inside conferences with Dignity officers and members of the UC Board of Regents, whose approval was required. In a written assertion, a Dignity Health spokesperson mentioned system officers “understand the concerns raised by UCSF faculty and others” and “agree that we cannot move forward.”

In April, Laret advised a gathering of the UC Regents that UCSF had no “good Plan B” for including capability and that disengaging from the partnership could be “catastrophic for the health care delivery system in San Francisco.” On Tuesday, UCSF released an FAQ saying the medical middle would proceed to search for new methods to work with Dignity, together with within the areas of adolescent and grownup psychiatry, surgical companies, major care and most cancers care.

The proposal for formal affiliation had drawn vocal opposition from California’s lieutenant governor, some main UCSF donors and dozens of organizations advocating for reproductive rights and the homosexual and transgender communities.

“I’m really happy they made this decision,” mentioned Dr. Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology who helped write a letter of opposition that was signed by greater than 1,500 school members, residents, college students and alumni. “Particularly in this moment when the rights of women and LGBT folks are under attack, this [affiliation] was just not the right decision, and I’m glad they recognized that. It’s important that California remain a haven state for these services.”

But Grossman mentioned he stays involved about UCSF’s ongoing collaboration with Dignity, and the likelihood it nonetheless might broaden.

“We need to be vigilant and really hold them accountable moving forward,” he mentioned.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nationwide well being coverage information service. It is an editorially impartial program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which isn’t affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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