NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Elaine L. Hill

University of Rochester School of Medicine
Department of Public Health Sciences
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2017Medically Necessary but Forbidden: Reproductive Health Care in Catholic-owned Hospitals
with David Slusky, Donna Ginther: w23768
The United States has recently seen a large increase in hospital mergers and acquisitions, and Catholic hospital systems have actively participated in this. As of 2016, 40% of the largest healthcare systems were faith-based, with 141 mergers between Catholic and non-Catholic systems since 1997. Mergers that affiliate a hospital with a Catholic owner, network, or system, are consequential because they reduce the set of possible medical procedures since Catholic hospitals are generally prohibited from providing procedures like tubal ligation. We examine the effect of changes in ownership from secular to Catholic (and vice versa) on reproductive health procedures that are likely to be affected. Using hospital-level variation in ownership status for 1002 hospitals, we estimate a difference-in...
 
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