The Impact of Nonprofit Conversions on Community Benefit

How do hospital conversions from nonprofit to for-profit status affect the communities they serve? Researchers at Boston University examined both short-term and long-term impacts using several different measures of community benefit, including uncompensated care, provision of unprofitable services, price discounts, and community representation on governing boards. They also assessed the number of conversions that resulted in either hospital closures or changes in service orientation. The researchers studied hospital conversions in three states: California, Florida and Texas. California and Florida data will cover the period between 1979 and 1996; Texas data span 1988 through 1995 (1996 if available). They also examined Medicare Cost Reports and American Hospital Association survey data. The objective of the study was to assess whether, and how, hospital conversions from non-profit to for profit status affects the community that these hospitals serve.