|Some hospitals on the 2011 map don't appear on the 2016 map either because they're no longer associated with a |
Catholic institution or because they're no longer classified as the sole community hospital. (FiveThirtyEight map)
"In a growing number of communities around the country, especially in rural areas, patients and physicians have access to just one hospital. And in more and more places, that hospital is Catholic," Anna Maria Barry-Jester and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux report for FiveThirtyEight. "That sounds innocuous — a hospital is a hospital, after all. But Catholic hospitals are bound by a range of restrictions on care that are determined by religious authorities, with very little input from medical staff. Increasingly, where a patient lives can determine whether Catholic doctrine, and how the local bishop interprets that doctrine, will decide what kind of care she can get."