“Grateful Patient Programs”

From NY Times: Hospitals Are Asking Their Own Patients to Donate Money

This article in the NY Times reviews a growing trend of non-profit hospitals asking patients for contributions; sometimes, physicians are asked to help identify potential donors.

An excerpt:

Many hospitals conduct nightly wealth screenings — using software that culls public data such as property records, contributions to political campaigns and other charities — to gauge which patients are most likely to be the source of large donations…

These various tactics, part of a strategy known as “grateful patient programs,” make some people uncomfortable…it could make patients worry that their care might be affected by whether they made a donation.

My take: Should hospitals simplify the process by adding a line on the bill for a tip?

Badwater basin, Death Valley