Policy Documents

The Privatization of Public Hospitals

Peter J. Ferrara –
January 5, 1999
In this blog posting, Ferrara notes that most hospitals in the United States have been established and owned by either nonprofit institutions or state and local governments. Today, out of 5,200 acute-care hospitals in the United States, 60 percent, or about 3,100, are owned and run by nonprofit institutions. Another 25 percent, or about 1,350, are owned and run by state and local governments. Only about 15 percent, or about 750, are owned by private, for-profit enterprises.In recent years, however, there has been an accelerating trend towards conversion of nonprofit or government-owned hospitals to private, for-profit hospitals. These conversions are highly beneficial to the general public, substantially improving both health care and the general economy. Farrara then goes on to suggest ways to privatize hospitals.