Grants for Non Profit Community Hospitals

Types of Hospitals

Historically, two types of nonprofit community hospitals were established in the United States: those founded and run by religious organizations and those run through a secular community-based initiative. Religious hospitals were wholly funded and managed through a church or affiliated religious organization. Secular nonprofit community medical centers received an allocation of tax money to supplement funds.

Both religious organizations and local units of government that underwrote the costs of operating nonprofit community hospitals have faced shrinking resources over the past generation. So nonprofit community hospitals have seen significant reductions in revenue from their historic funding sources. Churches and other religious organizations drastically reduced their direct financial support and operation of community hospitals. The net effect means these hospitals must obtain additional funding through grants or to shut their doors.

Federal Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stepped up its involvement in providing nonprofit community hospitals with grants in the past 20 years. However, financial resources available from the federal government are limited. One of the aims of federal grants is to allow nonprofit community hospitals the ability to employ professional staff. Since many of these facilities are located in rural areas, attracting well-trained professional staff is problematic without funds, such as grants, to offer competitive salaries. Another grant program available from HHS assists community hospitals with emergency preparedness and response.

Religious Grants

As religious organizations reduced their direct and full financial support of the day-to-day operation of medical centers, they switched to providing grants to nonprofit community hospitals. These grants tend to be more restrictive than those from other resources. Nonetheless, grants from churches and religious organizations provide a needed revenue stream for nonprofit community hospitals.

Medical Charities

Recognizing the financial strain on nonprofit community hospitals in the 1980s, a number of charitable organizations were established to provide grants to these facilities. For example, some medical charities provide funding for family planning services and other charities provide grants to combat different diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and so forth. Examples of organizations that provide medical grants include International Association for Healthcare Security, Bayer Awards Program and Society for the Arts in Healthcare.

Misconceptions

One of the most common misconceptions is that medical insurance and payments by patients directly cover all costs associated with operating a nonprofit community medical center. However, the ever increasing number of patients who lack proper insurance or appropriate financial resources to pay for medical services impacts the financial needs of community hospitals. In a majority of cases, a nonprofit community hospital must have access to additional funding---through grants and other similar resources---in order to maintain a balanced budget. With ever increasing demands from patients who lack adequate insurance coverage (or who have no medical insurance whatsoever), the budgets of nonprofit community hospitals tend to be stretched significantly in recent years. As a consequence of the financial strain placed on the operations of these types of medical facilities, a growing number of local medical centers rely on grants for nonprofit community hospitals.