From MedPage Today:
My colleague Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, is a practicing physician, a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and a co-director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. His guest essay for the New York Times (“Why are Nonprofit Hospitals Focused More on Dollars than Patients?”) is spot on!
He begins with the misnomer “nonprofit.” A nonprofit hospital is actually allowed to make money. Because it isn’t owned by investors, it is considered a charitable organization by the Internal Revenue Service, but the tax-exempt designation comes with the expectations that the dollars it saves on taxes will be invested in the community the nonprofit hospital serves (e.g., reduced costs and/or free care for the poor). Today, more than half of the nation’s hospitals are nonprofit, and too many have been doing far too little public good in exchange for their collective $28 billion (as of 2020) in tax exemptions.