To the Editor: An article in the January 9 issue1 contained suggestions about the future economic performance of not-for-profit and investor-owned chain hospitals based on a comparative study using 1978 and 1980 data. The conclusions of the authors are weakened by several factors. First, the sample studied included no large urban hospitals or any that provided substantial care for indigent persons. However, in urban areas, not-for-profit hospitals generally provide considerably more such care than do for-profit hospitals. For example, evidence from a recent merger case shows that the largest not-for-profit hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, charged $50 more per day than.
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