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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 85

Compared to non-profit hospitals of the same size, investor-owned hospitals require less public investment in the form of tax breaks, use fewer employees, and have higher occupancy levels. It can therefore be concluded that investor-owned hospitals are a better way of delivering medical care than are non-profit hospitals.

Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the conclusion drawn above?

[A]. Non-profit hospitals charge more per bed than do investor-owned hospitals.
[B]. Patients in non-profit hospitals recover more quickly than don patients with comparable Illnesses in investor-owned hospitals
[C]. Non-profit hospitals do more fundraising than do investor-owned hospitals.
[D]. Doctors at non-profit hospitals earn higher salaries than do similarly qualified doctors at investor-owned hospitals.
[E]. Non-profit hospitals receive more donations than do investor-owned hospitals.
Answer: B

A classic scope shift: The author lists some advantages that investor-owned hospitals enjoy over nonprofit hospitals: they don’t need as much public investment, use fewer employees, have higher occupancy levels. Therefore, the author concludes, investor-owned hospitals are better at delivering medical care than are non-profit hospitals. It shouldn’t be very hard to weaken this argument, since the evidence concerns administrative advantages in investor-owned hospitals, while the conclusion deals with the sort of medical care one gets at such hospitals. Scope shift. (B) directly deals with the subject of medical care. If patients at nonprofit hospitals recover faster from comparable illnesses than do patients in investorowned hospitals, then we have a serious reason to doubt the claim that patients in investorowned hospitals are receiving better medical care.

(A) actually fits in with the stimulus evidence, by suggesting that, in addition to their administrative advantages, investor-owned hospitals are cheaper for the public. This doesn’t weaken the conclusion about the quality of medical care.

(C) and (E) Both of these choices fail to deal with medical care, both concentrating on advantages that nonprofit hospitals have in raising money. But neither establishes that these money-raising advantages translate into better medical care, so the argument is unaffected.

(D) falls into the same trap as (C) and (E): It tells us that doctors at nonprofit hospitals are paid better than their counterparts at investor-owned hospitals, but not that they’re better qualified. Although we may naturally equate “more money” with “better qualified,” the info in (D) doesn’t allow us to make that jump or infer that care at nonprofit hospitals is better.

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