Better Care Available at Not-For-Profit Hospitals
Not-for-profit hospitals and nursing homes offer better care than for-profit facilities in terms of cost, quality and accessibility, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs, Reuters/Yahoo! News reports.
For the analysis, researchers at the Urban Institute led by Bradford Gray examined 162 studies comparing not-for-profit and for-profit health care providers. The analysis finds that a facility's ownership status appears to have an impact on outcomes and in the cost of health care.
According to the analysis, eight of the included studies found that not-for-profit hospitals have lower mortality rates, compared with one study finding that for-profits have lower mortality rates. In addition, not-for-profits are better at keeping costs down, according to the analysis.
Researcher said there is evidence that for-profits are more likely to inflate prices to maximize revenue and to have complaints filed against them.
In an accompanying editorial, University of Michigan professor Jill Horwitz writes, "Their work should lay to rest claims that little distinguishes nonprofit versus for-profit health care" (Dixon, Reuters/Yahoo! News, 6/20).
Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, criticized the findings. "These guys have manipulated the data to come up with these conclusions," he said (Washington Post, 6/21).
The analysis comes as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other lawmakers are questioning whether not-for-profits provide enough community benefits to justify their tax-exempt status, Reuters/Yahoo! News reports (Reuters/Yahoo! News, 6/1).
The Urban Institute analysis is available online.