More Non-profit Profit

At the same time the New York Times published an article about non-profit hospitals using debt collectors to pursue indigent patients (—–), they published a second article detailing how a another enormous “non-profit” hospital chain abused its non-profit status to undermine one of its hospitals in a poor neighborhood while enhancing hospitals it owned in wealthier suburban neighborhoods.

While both hospital chains are classified “non-profit” by the IRS, they exhibit the same predatory behaviors as profit-seeking businesses. Where does the extra money go? Some of it is used to build new facilities in wealthier neighborhoods, further increasing the income of the “non-profit” chains. It is not used to improve the facilities in poor neighborhoods

How can we stop this? A single-payer national health care system would fund hospitals with global budgets. This eliminates the impetus for hospitals to minimize community services in order to generate “non-profit”-profits. It also provides an integrated system for determining the placement of additional medical facilities. There would no longer be the stimulus to continually increase services in wealthy areas in order to maximize income. Hospitals could actually focus on patient care and community service.