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Do you donate money to your hospital?

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  • Do you donate money to your hospital?

    This applies to non-profits, of course, but I am curious how many docs contribute money to their hospitals. (Maybe WCI could do a poll on this, if he thinks it is worthwhile.)

    For the last ten years or so, I have been a donor to our hospital, probably giving upwards of $30k over the years, for various annual funds and campaigns. Additionally, I have also served as a board member (and officer) of the charitable foundation of our hospital and was the most active physician in this role, in terms of recruiting physician participation in hospital philanthropy and engaging with the community volunteers on this board.

    I have changed my tune a bit in the last 12-18 months, but I am curious to see where other forum members are on the issue of donating money to their hospitals.

  • #2
    I'm in for over 100k but most of that was to a specific fund for education of nurses and techs I work with. Over the years, my enthusiasm for donations to the hospital have waned. Possibly related to how many times they said no to something I asked for.

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    • #3
      When we had our baby, the CNO and COO made sure that we got one of the two fancy post-partum suites and visited us personally.  Perhaps it's just my imagination, but when the C-suite shows up, I think that an awesome staff acts even awesomer.  Given that my wife had an extended stay secondary to complications, this was all very appreciated.  My point...I wonder if being a major donor could take the place of spending time on some of those hospital committees.  It might be a wash in terms of donated (deductible) money and opportunity cost of donated time!

      Vagabond, sorry, I know that wasn't your question:  No, I have not donated money.  I think it would be a great survey question.

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      • #4
        Not directly and probably wouldn't every--- we like to keep the arm's length of $$$ both ways.   keeps things simple

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        • #5
          I don't to my current hospital but I do donate a lot to my residency program. Very grateful to have matched/graduated there and for the outstanding training. Trying to pay it forward by pumping up the "resident fund".

          I have been less generous of late within my own specialty as I do not agree with the direction of much of the leadership although I do still contribute to some of the PACs

          I do NOT donate anything to my medical school as I feel the $250000+ I paid already covers my obligation to them.

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          • #6
            no!  I feel that unattached call patients and uncompensated time on committees and being a department chief was more than enough.

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            • #7
              I've donated about $20,000 to my hospital's foundation, largely because a new OR needed to be built and there was pressure on the docs to contribute in order to show non-physician donors with very deep pockets that there was widespread support for the project from the hospital staff.  (It worked; we got some big donations as a result.). Generally, though, I prefer to donate to medical charities serving people in the developing world, such as Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders, and to my  medical school.

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              • #8




                I’ve donated about $20,000 to my hospital’s foundation, largely because a new OR needed to be built and there was pressure on the docs to contribute in order to show non-physician donors with very deep pockets that there was widespread support for the project from the hospital staff.  (It worked; we got some big donations as a result.). Generally, though, I prefer to donate to medical charities serving people in the developing world, such as Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders, and to my  medical school.
                Click to expand...


                As one who served on the foundation board, I can say from experience that when docs are engaged in the philanthropic efforts of the hospital, it does energize the real (big wallet) donors to a significant degree. The older generation of wealthy folks, especially, likes socializing with the docs. Perhaps when one gets older and health issues start cropping up, wealthy people understand the value of good relationships with doctors and hospitals.

                We had one regular donor who made multiple anchor donations ($1M plus) for various big projects and also regularly gave six figure donations to our annual fund. Well into his 80's with multiple chronic health problems, he would say something like, "You guys keep me alive, and I will keep writing these checks." When he came for a service in our department, I literally dropped what I was doing to make sure everything went well. He was very unassuming and appreciative. Great guy.

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                • #9
                  I haven't made any substantive contributions I've received some flyers but they've never directly solicited the medical staff to donate.

                  As pediatric academic docs with a university, perhaps they know we are all underpaid relative to our peers as it is, so directly asking for a donation would be somewhat annoying.

                  I am sure I will make some donations in the future when my finances have more flexibility, but I've already paid them enough money through medical bills for my 3 kids there the last several years.
                  An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                  www.RogueDadMD.com

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                  • #10
                    Yes, every year. Some years a little, some years more - about 5K last year. I am employed at a critical access hospital and they really are well run and do great work and they need community support. I enjoy giving back to them as they have many cool programs and the towns people use the hospital as a rallying point quite often. They have an open area for the local farmers market, summer concerts, etc... I almost see it as a bit old fashioned/nostalgic.

                    Not long ago they set up a beautiful wedding in our courtyard for a young couple whose grandparent (that raised the wife-to-be after her parents passed away when she was young) was in hospice, literally at the end. All the couple wanted was for this grandparent to be at their wedding. So with donor funds and people literally throwing money into a collection hat, the hospital flew the couple in, decorated and had a ceremony that had the whole hospital in tears all day. Very cool stuff. They definitely seem to be more than "just a hospital".

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                    • #11
                      My wife and I donate to the charitable foundation attached to the hospital. Not for capital campaigns etc.

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                      • #12
                        Our practice donates to the larger hospitals we cover, mostly for a golf charity event for one hospital. I don't feel the need to add extra. I'm the absence of the practice's donations, I probably wouldn't because I've got a mountain of student loan debt I'm digging out of.

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                        • #13
                          IANAL (I am not a lawyer - one of my favorite internet abbreviations because it looks dirty but isn't)

                          Let's say you are in an emergency medicine group with an exclusive contract to staff a non-profit hospital, maybe it is a desirable hospital with a decent payer mix that is periodically approached by other EM groups who would like to displace you.

                          If you donate money to your hospital, the competing EM group could allege that your giving money to the hospital is rewarded with an exclusive contract which gives you access to state and federal healthcare dollars.  It isn't exactly a kickback, but it kind of has that flavor.  Maybe the non-profit status of the hospital would make it not quite as bad as it seems.  Even if it isn't illegal, it sure would look bad if someone chose to draw attention to it in a public manner.

                           

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                          • #14




                            IANAL (I am not a lawyer – one of my favorite internet abbreviations because it looks dirty but isn’t)

                            Let’s say you are in an emergency medicine group with an exclusive contract to staff a non-profit hospital, maybe it is a desirable hospital with a decent payer mix that is periodically approached by other EM groups who would like to displace you.

                            If you donate money to your hospital, the competing EM group could allege that your giving money to the hospital is rewarded with an exclusive contract which gives you access to state and federal healthcare dollars.  It isn’t exactly a kickback, but it kind of has that flavor.  Maybe the non-profit status of the hospital would make it not quite as bad as it seems.  Even if it isn’t illegal, it sure would look bad if someone chose to draw attention to it in a public manner.

                             
                            Click to expand...


                            As commonplace as this is, I am certain that there is no such issue. Our hospital C's are extremely versed and compliant (to the point of paranoia) re Stark Laws and such. If there were an actionable conflict of interest, there is no way that they would take money from the docs.

                             

                            PS I am sure the hospital would welcome donations from both ER groups.

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                            • #15
                              I donate to the hospital foundation. I like to see my name etched in glass and / or engraved in stone.

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