HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

For Profit/Not-for-Profit Quality Issues

Erza Klein points out a new study published in the Health Affairs journal and summarized briefly here that shows that not-for-profit hospitals and nursing homes provide a higher quality of care.  From the summary:

For-profit nursing homes and hospitals on average provide an inferior quality of care compared with their nonprofit peers, according to an extensive review of studies published on Tuesday.

Authors writing in the journal Health Affairs found that a systematic analysis of 162 studies of nonprofit versus for-profit health care providers supports the concept that a facility's ownership status makes a difference in outcomes and in the cost of health care.

"Their work should lay to rest claims that little distinguishes nonprofit versus for-profit health care," University of Michigan professor Jill Horwitz wrote in editorial also running in the policy journal.


The analysis found a pattern of differences between nonprofits and for-profits in cost, quality and accessibility, said Bradford Gray, a principal research associate at the Urban Institute -- a nonprofit research group -- and lead study author.

For-profit ownership is climbing in most sectors of health, from hospitals to hospice care. For example, for-profit hospitals accounted for 11 percent of all hospitals in the early 1990s and now account for 16 percent.


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