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For-Profit Hospitals Poised to Serve in an Anchor Role to Support their Communities

This study snapshot outlines findings from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded research examining the potential impact of for-profit hospitals serving in an anchor role, particularly if these organizations were willing to undertake new investments in community health.

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Hospitals serve as prominent public health partners in U.S. communities and make contributions to bolster population health and improve economic conditions. Although more than half of hospitals nationwide are nonprofit, for-profit hospitals are growing in number and compose approximately a quarter of hospitals. While hospitals in general have been discussed as having the potential to be anchor institutions, only nonprofits have been typically described as such. The result is that very little literature exists on the public health potential of for-profit institutions.

This study snapshot outlines research by Cory Cronin and Berkeley Franz, assistant professors at Ohio University, that sought to understand the potential impact of for-profit hospitals serving in an anchor role. Their findings suggest that, given their location in counties with high economic and health needs, for-profit hospitals have significant potential to impact population health if they are successfully incentivized to engage in population health improvement.

Full study details and findings are available in Preventive Medicine Reports.

This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Understanding and Supporting Anchor Businesses to Build a Culture of Health program, managed by AcademyHealth.

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Cory Cronin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor - Ohio University

Cory Cronin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Public Health. He received his Ph.D. in ... Read Bio

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Berkeley Franz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Community-Based Health - Ohio University

Berkeley Franz is a medical sociologist and health services researcher whose research and teaching focus on he... Read Bio