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Not For Profit Healthcare, For Profit Healthcare And Physician Incentives

1543 words - 6 pages

Some medical facilities are not-for-profit organizations. They can be a charitable organization or an educational organization or both. There are other not-for-profit medical and public health programs that provide health care to many communities in this country. Some of the best hospitals in America are educational not-for-profit facilities. They work with some of the newest technology and some perform experimental procedures. Most public health programs are ran as not-for-profit organizations and operated for charitable and educational purposes. The not-for-profit organization is not liable to pay taxes under IRS code 501 (c)(3) (.org). This allows the organization to put its revenues back into the organization versus having to pay investors or owners. Unfortunately, over the past 20 years the amount of for-profit organizations has increased (Santa). The growing commercialization of health care has ethical implications and has become a matter of heated controversy (Santa). It’s becoming more difficult despite all the laws and regulations to protect patient’s privacy and confidentiality. An ethical implication that for-profits face is physicians receiving incentives for keeping cost down to increase profits. Some for-profits will encourage doctors to promote profit producing drugs, surgeries, tests and treatments. (Santa). Some of these same physicians may own the facility they operate which creates a huge conflict. On the other hand, financial incentives can cause physicians to delay important tests and treatments or to not perform them at all. In some cases patients are being discharged from hospitals before they are ready to go home (Orentlicher). On an ethical standpoint, the patient’s well being is put in jeopardy and the patient may lose trust in their physician.
An issue with for-profit healthcare organizations is that they serve fewer non paying/unprofitable patients which increase the burden on not-for-profits. For-profit organizations are more concerned with providing attractive looking facilities in areas where there are paying patients. With fewer and fewer not-for-profit facilities available lower income patients are finding it more difficult to find quality healthcare facilities. We will also start to see an emergency room shortage due to less not-for-profit facilities. Another issue with for-profit facilities is that they aren’t contributing their “fair share” to society (Santa). These facilities like others also receive benefits from the government so they should give back to the communities just like not-for-profit facilities do.
It has been found that mixing business with medicine will inevitably lead to abuses that violate patient dignity (Santa). There are situations where doctors owning dialysis centers have put patients off from having kidney transplants to keep them on dialysis. Physician ownership of healthcare facilities and self-referral practices challenge our government due to the widespread conflicts of...

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