This paper evaluates the performance of both specific firms within the American for-profit hospital industry and the industry as a whole. First, traditional financial analysis is used to evaluate individual publicly traded for-profit chains. Then, industry performance from 1973 to 1982 is evaluated using a set of measures based on Modern Portfolio Theory. The traditional financial analysis indicates that the industry seems increasingly profitable as well as increasingly healthy from the perspective of utilizing its assets and reducing its collection period. However, the industry's rapid growth rate has strained its ability to use additional debt funding and has created a potentially dangerous liquidity position. Measures based on Modern Portfolio Theory indicate that the average return of the industry has improved over the past 5 years. However, its risk has also increased. Nevertheless, the increase in risk is more than offset by the increased average return. In addition, recent legislation designed 'to reward the efficient' has introduced a significant degree of uncertainty into the industry's performance for the coming years. Thus, hospitals' ability to maintain the substantial profitability and rate of growth they have experienced over the past decade will depend on how well they will adapt to the changing environment.