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Ownership of Hospitals: An Analysis of Newly-Released Federal Data & A Method for Assessing Common Owners

Publication Date
W. Pete Welch, Lanlan Xu, Nancy De Lew, and Benjamin D. Sommers

To enhance transparency in health care markets, in December 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publicly released comprehensive data on the ownership of all U.S. hospitals that are enrolled in Medicare. This report provides an overview of the available data, a methodology for assigning hospitals to chains, and several preliminary analyses to showcase the data. Nearly half of the 4,644 Medicare-enrolled hospitals are non-profit (49.2 percent), 36.1 percent are for-profit, and 14.7 percent are government-owned. We find that chains with at least three hospitals constitute a majority of hospitals (56.1 percent). Nine chains have at least 50 hospitals each. Individuals (as distinct from organizations) have 8.0 percent of the ownership shares of hospitals, in contrast to the much larger ownership share of nearly 50 percent by individuals of SNFs. Individuals disproportionately own more specialty hospitals (e.g., psychiatric) and fewer short-term acute care hospitals.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to W. Pete Welch, Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

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