Financial Problems of Voluntary Hospitals

November 17, 1948

Report Outline
Hospital Income, Expenditures, Deficits
Development of American Hospital System
Financial Difficulties of Voluntary Hospitals
Proposed Solutions for Hospital Problems
Special Focus

Failures of community chests to reach their goals in 1948 red feather campaigns will add to the financial difficulties of hospitals which look to the chests for aid in meeting a part of their operating expenses. Newspaper surveys in eastern states report hospital deficits for this year which will run into the millions. All recent studies have pointed to the need of finding new sources of income or cutting the costs of hospital service, or both, if the country's nonprofit hospitals are to be put on a firm financial footing.

The most obvious source of financial aid in meeting operating expenses is the federal government, which already contributes to costs of hospital construction under the Hospital Survey and Construction Act of 1946. A 10-year national health program proposed by Federal Security Administrator Ewing in September stated, among other things, that “the federal government must underwrite and subsidize a significant proportion of the maintenance costs of non-profit hospitals of all kinds.”

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Hospital Income, Expenditures, Deficits

Joseph G. Norby, president of the American Hospital Association, said, Nov. 8, that government must assume full responsibility for hospital care of the indigent. Expenditures for the indigent, not fully covered by state and local contributions, are in part responsible for the deficits of many voluntary (nongovernmental) hospitals.

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