Teaching hospitals face today the large-scale use of private beds in their programs. The pressure is economic and unavoidable. Twenty years ago a public ward bed cost the patient $4 a day and cost the hospital not much more. Many a privately endowed teaching center had over 200 public ward beds divided among the teaching services. Today a ward bed costs the hospital between $15 and $20 a day. If the endowed hospital assumes the cost of as much as half the patient's bill, 200 teaching ward beds cost the hospital well over $600,000 a year— the interest on a 13 million dollar endowment. Most hospitals do not have such financial resources. The few that have, because of research and other commitments, do not want to expend all their funds on ward beds. With the growth of private hospitalization insurance, they are finding that they do not have to.
Armstrong SH. PRIVATE BEDS IN MEDICAL TEACHING. JAMA. 1953;153(2):82–90. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940190008003
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