Who Writes the Biggest Check for Charitable Care: A Comparison of For-Profit, Not-for-Profit, and Government Hospitals

John G. Irwin, Carmen C. Lewis, Cherie Fretwel, Randi E. Myers


The current environment in the United States surrounding health care issues such as spending, costs, access, and affordability points toward a societal obligation to help provide for those who cannot pay the costs of their own care. Hospitals are often one of the largest employers in communities, and like many other organizations, view providing charitable care as an aspect of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). This study compares the recent levels of charitable care of for-profit, not-for-profit, and government hospitals. The authors attempt to determine which type of hospital is the most charitable, what the relationship between CSR and profitability may be, and the differences in the relationship between CSR and profitability for various hospital types. Data from a sample of 167 short-term, general hospitals were examined and results indicated that there were significant differences in CSR for government, not-for-profit and for-profit. Higher levels of CSR did not affect firm profitability, although significant interactions were found between control and CSR for varying levels of profitability. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/afr.v4n1p151


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