In the oath most medical school graduates take, there is a line they say: “I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability.” If only executives at health care and pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and hospitals took a similar oath.
In all the talk of repealing failed ObamaCare and replacing it with a well-functioning, fiscally responsible and consumer-friendly set of policies, health insurance providers have taken a beating. Drug manufacturers haven’t gotten off easy, and neither have doctors.
But one area of the health care industry that hasn’t been examined hard enough is where the bulk of health care takes place: hospitals, especially nonprofit hospitals.
Just as technology is driving changes in the economies of health care, so are the types of hospitals that provide that health care. First, what is it we’re talking about: nonprofit hospitals are designated as such by the IRS for complying with not for profit guidelines, such as who owns the hospital (a religious order, a charitable organization, or a state-run university), how much “free care” they provide to indigent patients, and other benefits the hospital shares with the community. They don’t pay federal income or state and local property taxes.