Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West) has steadily grown to become the largest private, not-for-profit health care provider in the state of California. Dignity Health operates a network of 40 acute-care facilities located in the Golden State and, to a lesser extent, in Arizona and Nevada. Those facilities house 8,400 acute care beds, as well as 800 skilled nursing beds. Dignity Health provides home health and hospice services through agencies in California and Nevada. It also operates more than 300 emergency and specialty clinics, imaging centers, and medical labs, as well as managed care and wellness programs. Dignity Health is the official health care provider of the San Francisco Giants.
The company changed its name from Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) to Dignity Health in early 2012 as part of a governance restructuring program. While the firm remains a not-for-profit organization with Catholic roots, and its Catholic hospitals continue to be sponsored by their founding congregations (and governed by the Catholic health care directives), the parent organization itself is no longer an official ministry of the Catholic church.
Following in the footsteps of a growing number of hospitals, Dignity Health created an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in collaboration with Hill Physicians Medical Group and Blue Shield of California. An ACO uses teams of medical care providers as well as technology to help improve a patient's experience through his or her stay in the hospital and to create efficiencies where possible. Members of the ACO are compensated based on positive patient outcomes. Teaming up with healthcare insurers to form ACOs is a growing trend among US hospitals trying to save their pennies where possible while keeping patients healthy once they are released from their acute situations.
Dignity Health employs more than 60,000 caregivers and staff to communities across Arizona, California, and Nevada. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest hospital provider in the nation and the largest hospital system in California.
The company's rebranding and restructuring aimed to give it more flexibility to pursue its growth strategy of widening its presence into additional regions of the US, while lowering the overall cost of care (a desire of most large hospital operators as the US government works to reform its ailing health system). At the time of the governance shift, Dignity Health operated 25 Catholic hospitals and 15 non-Catholic hospitals; the company intends to expand its network of owned and affiliated medical centers in both categories. It also aims to coordinate care and reduce expenses across its broad network of facilities through measures such as its $1.8 billion electronic health record (EHR) initiative, which will improve patient record and physician communication systems over a five-year period.
Dignity Health has stated that it wants to become a national, integrated care provider by 2020. Towards that end, in mid-2012 Dignity Health acquired U.S. HealthWorks for an undisclosed price. The significant purchase added some 170 occupational health and urgent care clinics in 15 states across the US. U.S.HealthWorks operates as an independent subsidiary of Dignity Health. – less