Understanding Hospital Community Essentiality

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Views Differ on this Important Concept

[By Calvin W. Wiese; CPA, CMA, MBA]

An important component of hospital financial analysis is essentiality. Hospitals are unusual businesses that many times possess some form of essentiality to their communities. Healthcare is important to the economic vitality of every community. Many hospitals have served their communities for many years; it is not uncommon to find hospitals that have been continuously operating for more than 100 years in the same community.

Many Hospital Types

As we have discussed here and elsewhere, most hospitals are not-for-profit. In not-for-profit hospitals, no private party actually “owns” the hospital; control is vested in various boards, but no one explicitly “owns” a not-for-profit hospital. In a broad sense, communities own not-for-profit hospitals. They are considered “charities” with a “charitable purpose.” Though a not-for profit hospital may not have owners, it has many” stakeholders,” parties that have vested interests in the continuing success of the hospital.

Many Diverse Stakeholders

Many hospitals have broad and vast webs of stakeholders. Stakeholders are why hospitals rarely close or are shut down. Too many stakeholders have interests in the continuing successful operation of hospitals.

Hospital stakeholder relationships need to be considered in the analysis of essentiality. How strong are these relations? How many are there? How important is the continuing success of this hospital to these stakeholders?

Health Services Analysis

Another dimension of the essentiality is medical service analysis. For examples, how significant are the hospital’s services? If the hospital shuts down, what population segments would suffer? How significant is the population that would suffer? How much would they suffer?


Analysis of hospital’s stakeholders and services should provide a credible view of the degree of essentiality associated with a hospital. Higher degrees of essentiality suggest higher likelihoods that hospitals, one way or another, will meet their commitments, particularly their payment commitments.


So, tell us what you think about your hospital’s essentiality? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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