Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Administration

First Advisor

Kenneth White


By using a natural experiment approach and longitudinal national hospital data, this study sheds light on the objective functions of hospitals with different ownership forms by comparing their relative reductions in HH provision after the implementation of the BBA. The empirical findings reveal that for-profit hospitals behave differently as compared to public and private nonprofit hospitals, due to their different operational objectives. While the response of for-profit hospitals is consistent with the profit-maximizer model, both public and private nonprofit ownership types behave consistently in accordance with the model of two-good producers whose objective is to maximize market outputs for meeting the health care needs of the community, given the break-even requirement. This finding provides support for the tax exemption the United States government has granted private nonprofit hospitals. Although the response patterns of the nonprofit ownership types are in general similar, this study found that, contrary to expectation, religious hospitals were more likely than secular nonprofit hospitals to have reduced HH provision after the BBA. Further studies are needed to explore the difference in operational behaviors between these two ownership types. Built on previous related studies and applying a more comprehensive set of independent and control variables with improved data sources, this study is able to examine the effects of certain organizational and market factors on hospital offering of HH care pre-BBA and the change in the provision of HH care in the six years following the implementation of the BBA. Hospital proportion of Medicare patients, hospital size, total profit margin, case mix index, elderly density in the market are found to be positive determinants of a hospital’s likelihood of offering HH care. However, these organizational and market factors, in general, play a non-significant role in influencing hospitals’ changes in HH care provision after the implementation of the BBA. In the study, explanations and implications of these finding are discussed. Finally, potential limitations to this study and opportunities for future research are addressed.


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