Profitability study authors respond to criticism

The controversy over the findings of a result study on the most profitable hospitals in the nation continues. Days after the parent company of Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, a non-profit hospital in Wisconsin, disputed the Health Affairs study findings that it was the most profitable hospital in the nation, study authors responded to the criticism. Gunderson said the research relied on incomplete Medicare cost report data and didn't take into the integrated system's full costs. But in a Health Affairs blog post, study authors explained the study looked at factors associated with the profitability of hospitals, not hospital systems. They said there is no database that contains financial statements for all hospital systems in the country. Furthermore, they said the Medicare cost report is a reliable data source for hospital comparisons and is used by many researchers in published peer-reviewed articles. Blog post

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