Gary Young, professor of strategic management and healthcare systems
Young’s landmark study of U.S. hospitals’ provision of community benefits provides the hard data that will fuel debate on hospital spending priorities, just as provisions of the Affordable Care Act affecting those priorities begin to take effect.
The study, published in April in the New England Journal of Medicine, is based on newly available information about the services and activities that hospitals offer in their communities—benefits for which they receive no reimbursement.
It reveals wide disparities in hospital expenditures for those offerings and raises questions about how well hospitals are responding to ACA priorities for preventive care and population health.
Young and his interdisciplinary team at the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research found that some hospitals devote more than 20 percent of their operating budget to community benefits, while others contribute less than 1 percent. The study showed that, regardless of spending levels, the provided benefits were unlikely to include preventive medicine and wellness education.