Hospital ownership and the care of uninsured and Medicaid patients: Findings from the National Hospital Discharge Survey 1979-1984

Richard G. Frank, David S. Salkever, Fitzhugh Mullann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

From 1980 to 1984 Americans with no health insurance increased from 13.9% to 17.1% of the non-elderly population. Non-elderly persons covered by Medicaid declined from 6.2% to 5.6%. Previous studies of the share of the burden of uncompensated care borne by various provider groups present opposing findings. The National Hospital Discharge survey data presented here demonstrate that for-profit hospitals serve significantly lower percentages of uninsured discharges than secular or church-affiliated non-profit hospitals and public hospitals. The same pattern of differentials is observed with respect to Medicaid. On the whole the results of the survey tend to support the argument that private non-profit hospitals do indeed render greater public services in treating indigent patients than do for-profit hospitals. It must also be emphasized, however, that the results show all private hospitals falling somewhat short of the standard set by public hospitals in treating indigents. Thus, the continued shrinkage of the public hospital sector has serious. policy implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalHealth policy
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Keywords

  • Hospital ownership
  • Medicaid
  • National Hospital Discharge Survey
  • Uninsured patient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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