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Poll: For-Profit Hospitals in New Jersey -- For Or Against?

Meadowlands Hospital's 'birth tourism' raises news questions about for-profit hospitals.

NJ Spotlight’s series on Meadowlands Hospital – and its controversial ‘birth tourism’ program – raises new questions about the role of for-profit hospitals in New Jersey’s healthcare network. While there were only a handful a few years ago, today a dozen of the state’s 72 acute care hospitals are for-profit operations.

Does New Jersey Need For-Profit Hospitals?

  • Yes! It’s a free country and why shouldn’t hospitals be allowed to compete, just like institutions in other industries. They should follow the rules in order to provide safe services and if they don’t, consumers can always choose to go elsewhere.

  • Sometimes for-profit operations make sense and may be the only entities willing to step in and save a struggling hospital. Meadowlands was almost bankrupt when the current owners purchased it and converted it to for-profit; Saint Michael’s, in Newark, is undergoing a similar transition. Many of these institutions are truly needed in their locales.

  • For-profit hospitals aren’t necessarily bad, but the state needs to do a better job of monitoring these operations. Healthcare funding involves significant public dollars and government needs to ensure that hospital owners aren’t running businesses that put safety and quality second to profit.

  • Why should we have for-profit general hospitals? A large institution has too many ways it can move money between profit centers. They should be limited to specific-use businesses like surgery centers, and even then should be required to have the same disclosure and other rules as non-profit hospitals.

  • Eliminate for-profit hospitals entirely! Healthcare is already too profit-driven and these facilities have already proven that they cannot be trusted to prioritize patients. Hospitals should remain non-profit, mission-driven institutions that are focused on serving those who need treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.

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