The 10 most profitable for profit hospitals in America provide top-notch healthcare to a wide array of patients, especially in urban areas, as well as substantial returns to their shareholders, even while surrounded by some measure of controversy.
First, let’s talk about the difference between non-profit and for-profit hospitals. Non-profit hospitals are required to invest all of their profits back into the hospital’s services and are exempted from paying state and federal taxes on income and property. They are also required to report all of their offered community benefits, including Medicaid-covered services, or others for which the hospital does not receive compensation or which are unprofitable.
On the other hand, for-profit hospitals are owned by private investors or public shareholders and are able to distribute their profits to these owners. They can also raise capital through their investors and are required to pay income and property taxes.
Because of this structure, for-profit hospitals are criticized for being more financially beholden to their shareholders, and thus are said to prioritize their interests over the interests of their patients. For instance, for-profit hospitals tend to invest in services that yield higher returns and more revenue. Some even argue that for-profit hospitals may refuse to serve Medicaid patients or those without health insurance, instead preferring to focus on patients with private insurance. However, because for-profit hospitals’ cash flows are more flexible, they arguably are better able to invest in advanced technology and provide higher quality healthcare in general. Thus, they are giving non-profit hospitals a run for their money, which, in turn, compels them to improve their own practices.
Out of all U.S hospitals, just 20% are for-profit hospitals, according to Ashish Jha, a health policy researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. But whether an institution is for-profit or non-profit, what ultimately matters is the quality of service, and maintaining a low level of medically-induced harm upon patients, and both are certainly capable of providing that, so long as they strategize well and put patients’ needs above all else.
Several hospitals in our list, such as the CJW Medical Center, Las Palmas Medical Center, Medical City Dallas Hospital, and Methodist Hospital, are owned by HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA). The Nashville-based HCA is one of the largest for-profit operators of healthcare facilities in America and is different from those of its ilk because it owns many hospitals in larger and more populous urban areas. It also has a more diversified stream of revenue because it not only owns hospitals, but also subsidiaries that have other healthcare businesses such as workforce management solutions and low-cost wellness services.
The shares of for-profit healthcare providers like HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA), Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) (which owns two of the hospitals on this list), DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc (NYSE:DVA), Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS), and Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) have been volatile recently, owing to the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act and President Trump’s proposed alternative, which was unable to gain enough support from the Senate despite being majority Republican. However, several Republicans have vowed that they will continue to work towards repealing Obamacare this year, which has tempered short-term enthusiasm for hospital stocks, which will suffer greatly should a new health bill mean fewer insured Americans. That would be a big blow to hospital stocks, some of which have already been heavily battered in recent years as costs rise and profit falls.
Over the next few pages, we’ll present the 10 most profitable for profit hospitals in America, beginning with Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. We collected data from the American Hospital Directory, Modern Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review. Our list ranks the for-profit hospitals based on total patient revenue, getting previously published lists from the latter two sources and then rearranging them according to updated revenue data from the American Hospital Directory. For hospital rankings on a larger scale, check out our list of the 11 biggest hospitals in the world.