Keywords: hospital ownership, proprietary, quality of care, acquired infection, readmission rate
While the total number of hospitals in the United States declined in the last decade, proprietary facilities increased in number and proportion during the same period. The potential impact of this shift in organizational structure on patient outcomes is unclear. Advocates of for-profit care argue that it minimizes costs while optimizing care. Critics contend that proprietary hospitals are inefficient, limit access, and are not associated with improved levels of care. Existing research in this area largely focuses on financial aspects of care; far less is known about the relationship between hospital ownership and quality of care. This study examines the quality of care patients receive at three hospital ownership types: nonprofit, for-profit, and government. Quality of care is measured based on indicators documented by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Analytical methods including principal components analysis (PCA) and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) will be used to determine if differences were observed between the three hospital types. Future research would be required to explore the causes of any documented inconsistencies.