This study includes a quantitative and qualitative assessment of all short-term general acute and critical access hospitals across the United States with an in-depth analysis of Alabama’s 36 community-based, government-owned hospitals.1 Our quantitative analysis has been prepared using data reported and certified in over 30,000 Medicare Cost Reports2 filed by more than 5,000 hospitals for fiscal years 2008 to 2013.

The performance of all hospitals in Alabama was compared to national data for key metrics that are useful indicators of an organization’s financial health. Then, the authors compared the performance of hospitals that are part of multihospital “systems” 3 to those that are “standalone” 4 (or non-system) hospitals. Finally, we analyzed performance by ownership type (Government, Investor (for-profit), Charitable (nonprofit), and hospital type (University, General Acute Care, Critical Access).

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