Nonprofit hospitals across the United States are seeking donations from the people who rely on them most: their patients.
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.
Those who seem promising targets for fund-raising may receive a visit from a hospital executive in their rooms, as well as extra amenities like a bathrobe or a nicer waiting area for their families.
Some hospitals train doctors and nurses to identify patients who have expressed gratitude for their care, and then put the patients in touch with staff fund-raisers.
…it could make patients worry that their care might be affected by whether they made a donation.
Despite such concerns, these practices are becoming commonplace, particularly among the largest nonprofit hospitals. A 2016 survey of 108 hospitals found that 68 had grateful patient programs, according to the Advisory Board, a consulting firm.
Here is more from Phil Galewitz at the NYT.