There is growing evidence of a positive association between health care providers’ financial standing and the quality of care. In Poland, the instable financial situation and growing debt of public hospitals has been a source of concern for more than two decades now. The objectives of this paper were to compare the financial performance of public hospitals in Poland, depending on the ownership and organizational form; and analyze whether there is an association between financial performance and the chosen variables. We conducted a cross sectional study covering the whole population of public hospitals operating in 2018. The total number of included units was 805. The hospitals’ financial outcomes were measured by several variables; Spearman’s rank correlation was calculated, and a multivariable logistic regression model was performed. In 2018, the majority of public hospitals in Poland (52%) generated a gross loss, while 40% hospitals had overdue liabilities. There were statistically significant differences between hospital groups, with university hospitals and those owned by counties (local hospitals) being in the most disadvantageous situation. Additionally, corporatized public hospitals performed worse than those functioning in the classic legal form of independent health care units. Urgent actions are needed to measure and monitor the potential impact of financial performance on the quality of care.
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