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Sole Hospital Commitment to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) Services: Does Ownership Count?

Author: MEL ZHAO, HENRY J. CARRETTA, and ROBERT E. HURLEY
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 26 No. 1

Hospitals have been increasingly involved in health promotion and
disease prevention (HPDP) in the last two decades. Concurrent with
this trend, environmental changes and market pressures have resulted in
more hospital consolidations and conversions from not-for-profit (NFP)
to for-profit (FP) organizations. The emergence of a large number of
sole community hospitals has attracted the attention of policy-makers
and community stakeholders because sole community hospitals have
more power in the local market and may discontinue unprofitable
services to pursue profit maximization. This may be especially true
when the sole hospital is a FP organization. On the other hand, sole
community hospitals are confronted with a variety of expectations to
offer community-oriented services that promote community population
health, regardless of ownership.

There is relatively little literature that has attempted to examine the
behavior of sole community hospitals. This study depicts the profile of
sole hospitals’ involvement in HPDP services and estimates the
possible influence of community constituencies on hospitals with
respect to their providing community-oriented services. The results
indicate that typically, when there is only one hospital in the commu-
nity, hospital ownership has no significant influence on hospital HPDP
services than their NPD counterparts. Implications for policy-makers
and health care leaders are also discussed.

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