Policy Documents

Privatizing Public Hospitals: Strategic Options in an Era of Industry-wide Consolidation

Richard L. Tradewell –
August 1, 1998

In this excerpt from the book on privatizing hospitals, Tradewell writes for Reason that for local governments, continuing down the path of operating their own public hospitals ultimately is likely to mean being forced to raise taxes and to drive competing private, nonprofit, and safety-net providers out of business. More attractive options are available. Many municipalities are demonstrating that Lucy can serve indigents more efficiently and more effectively wIthout actually operating hospitals themselves. Governments have a menu of privatization techniques that may be used, including:

  • sale,
  • lease,
  • joint-operating contracting,
  • joint venture,
  • service shedding,
  • community contracting,
  • and outsourcing.