Nonprofit hospitals can be found all over the country. These hospitals take all comers, never refuse treatment and offer many community-based health programs. For-profit hospitals represent a corporate model of health care which seeks profit first. These organizations enjoy higher capital which allows them to purchase the latest medical technologies and create state-of-the-art facilities.
Cost of Medical Procedures
According to Entrepreneur's website, nonprofit hospitals traditionally charge less for medical procedures than for-profit hospitals in the United States. Entrepreneur also states that patients receive this lower-cost care without a corresponding drop in the level of care. According to the Keep Our Hospitals Healthy website, for-profit hospitals actually perform worse than nonprofit hospitals when treating common medical conditions and have higher death rates.
Being Turned Away for Care
Hospitals are required under federal law to administer stabilizing care to all those who walk through the doors. For-profit hospitals have the right to release patients whom the hospital believes may not be able to pay for treatment once stabilizing care has been administered. For-profit hospitals can refuse to treat patients with non-life threatening illnesses or injuries because of a perceived inability to pay for treatment. This is non the case with nonprofit hospitals, which must treat all patients regardless of health insurance or financial status.
Access to Medical Technology
Nonprofit hospitals may enjoy tax-exempt status, but they also bring in less money than for-profit hospitals. According to a 2010 article on USA Today's website, some medical professionals are excited by for-profit buyouts of nonprofit hospitals, which will bring in the influx of capital needed to purchase new medical technologies and pay down hospital debt. These new medical systems may lead to better diagnostic procedures and surgeries which could ultimately save lives.
Investors vs. Community
For-profit hospitals have a duty to investors in paying dividends and taking the company in an approved direction. Nonprofit hospitals seek to promote community health organizations such as free community health clinics and acute-care centers. Since for-profit hospitals seek to maximize profits first it is likely that these less than profitable community programs will not continue as for-profit hospitals continue to buy out nonprofits.
Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.