What Are the Different Types of Hospitals?

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Hospitals are considered community hospitals or teaching/academic hospitals. On a broader scale, hospitals are categorized by ownership: for-profit, not-for-profit and government. Hospitals may also be classified by the number of beds.

Two-thirds of all urban hospitals in the United States are considered not-for-profit. The remaining third is split between for-profit and government owned hospitals. The major difference between nonprofit and for-profit hospitals is that nonprofit hospitals do not have shareholders who receive the excess money raised by performing procedures, whereas for-profit hospitals do. Nonprofit hospitals are subject to different legal rules than for-profit hospitals, and they benefit from certain tax breaks.

Government-owned hospitals are operated by the United States government. An example of such a hospital is a Veteran’s Affairs, or VA, hospital. Government hospitals also enjoy several tax exemptions. Regardless of their ownership, all hospitals offer similar types of basic services, hire staff with similar levels of training, operate under the same rules and regulations and accept similar health insurance.

Hospitals can be further classified by determining whether they are a community hospital or a teaching hospital. Community hospitals are local, general hospitals. Teaching or academic hospitals are hospitals that are associated with a medical school or nursing school.