Catholic Health System's Growth Raises Questions

5 years 3 weeks 5 days ago Monday, February 24 2014 Feb 24, 2014 Monday, February 24, 2014 8:45:46 AM CST February 24, 2014 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The rapid growth of a St. Louis-based Catholic health care system that is branching out into for-profit ventures is raising questions about its charitable status.

Ascension Health was created 15 years ago with the merger of the St. Louis-based Daughters of Charity National Health System and the Michigan-based Sisters of St. Joseph Health System. It has since grown into the nation's third-largest health care system.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the company is preparing to open a $2 billion "health city" complex in the Cayman Islands in cooperation with a for-profit hospital chain based in India.

The company reported $17 billion in revenue in the 2013 fiscal year but didn't pay corporate income taxes on its nonprofit operations. Financial statements show Ascension has $30 billion in assets.

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