M N asked in Business & FinanceCorporations · 1 decade ago

Realistic differences between for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals?

I'm writing a college paper and am having a hard time finding published studies on differences between for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals in the respect of staffing ratios and differences, cost-cutting measures, changes in patient care, business operations, the money side of things versus the patient care side of things. Any insight to websites or publications would be wonderful. I've already looked at New England Journal of Medicine, the Canadian Medical Journal, etc. Many thanks.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    There are some really interesting aspects to the differences between for profit and NP hospitals in regards to religion.

    While some NP hospitals are NP because they are affiliated with a university/college, there are quite a few that are NP because they are affiliated with a religion - which has caused major differences in health care. I've worked on two very interesting campaigns with other women's organizations in New Jersey on this.

    The first was Contraception Equity - which was a bill that would require all health insurance providers in NJ to provide birth control in their coverage. There were actually health insurance providers that refused to cover birth control, but covered Viagra without so much as a whimper of conflict. In fighting for this bill, guess who the number one opponents where? Religiously affiliated "non-profit" hospitals. Because they were affiliated with a faith that didnt approve of birth control, they refused to provide to their employees - which were for the majority not of the same faith as the hospital. They didnt go to work to worship. They went to work to, well, WORK. They hospitals lobbied heavily against it.

    The more controversial issue is Emergency Contraception for sexual assault victims. Many nonprofit Catholic hospitals will NOT provide it. Because of their belief that emergency contraception is abortion, they will not provide the pill (which is usually they equivalent of a huge birth control dose) to individuals who have been raped and come into the ER.

    The coalition I was a part of got both bills passed. But it was a long hard fight - even for New Jersey!

    I would recommend googling the following words (no quotes) in this exact word order.

    nonprofit hospitals catholic emergency contraception

    You will get a ton of articles.

    Good luck on your paper! Also, if you are interested in other issues between the differences in the two in terms of money, business operations, and especially staff, I would research nonprofit hospitals and unions. The most drastic differences in staffing and staff benefits are found between union and non-union hospitals. SEIU (Service Employees International Union) has done a lot of work on benefits for hospital workers.

    Again, Good Luck!

    Source(s): Here is some good summary articles on the EC issue: (from alan guttmacher) http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/03/2/gr030203.h... (from alternet) http://www.alternet.org/rights/19584/
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is not an authoritative answer, but I suspect that for the most part, you cannot make the comparisons you want. I think you will find for profit hospitals that vary greatly in the areas you want to compare, and also non-profits that also have the same variations. There are for profit hospitals that exhibit the greatest care for patients, are run efficiently, keep costs down and have staffs comparable to non-profits that have the same characteristics. There are also both for profit and non-profit that are just the opposite.

    The primary difference is in the manner of ownership. For profit hospitals are corporations owned by shareholders. The hospital may distribute part of its income to the shareholders as dividends, and they pay taxes on their income.

    Not-for-profit hospitals do not have owners. They still try to earn income, but they do not distribute it. They may qualify as charitable organizations that do not pay income taxes. To that extent, they may be able to devote more money and care to patients, but that is not a certainty.

  • 1 decade ago

    I know that Ernst & Young provides accounting and auditing services for non-profit hospitals. Maybe contact E&Y?


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