Simply, our focus is on providing the highest quality health care, not on making profits for any owners or shareholders. Our nonprofit status ensures that after UPMC Altoona pays its bills each year, any money left over is fully reinvested to maintain a high quality, technologically advanced health care system for the community.
Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of The Catholic Health Association, explained it well: "Not-for-profit health care organizations have a rich tradition of providing benefits to their communities. Our organizations were established not for economic opportunity, but to address a need for health services in our communities. Our facilities were born out of community need, a tradition that continues today."
UPMC Altoona has lived up to the rich tradition of nonprofits by providing substantial community benefit in many important areas. We have made a commitment to expand health care access, reduce its disparities and help those who face obstacles in their daily lives. And, in keeping with our mission, our services are given solely to meet community health care needs, without regard to level of payment.
It's a common fallacy that nonprofit organizations don't need more revenue than expenses at the end of the year. No organization can survive long term by breaking even, and certainly not by losing money. The fact is, to remain a healthy hospital for the community, we need a 3 to 5 percent operating margin each year to keep current with wage inflation, purchase expensive medical supplies and technology, train and recruit medical personnel, and reinvest in our aging physical plant. Hospitals need to make substantial capital investments to provide the best and latest care techniques. We also need a positive operating margin to continue to carry out our mission of providing health care to all - the uninsured and the underinsured.