There are important differences — and similarities — between not-for-profit and for-profit care homes.

All contracted operators receive the same amount of funding from Alberta Health Services to deliver care and manage their facilities, regardless of whether they’re a for-profit operator or a not-for-profit operator. 

However, there may be differences in how different operators use the funding they receive.

  • Staffing represents about 80% of the cost of continuing care services. There may be differences between for-profit and not-for-profit operators with respect to the wages and benefits paid to staff, or the percentage of full-time versus part-time staff.

  • Driving force and mission:

    • CHAA’s not-for-profit operators have a charitable, faith or mission basis for their operations. CHAA’s operators have a long-serving mission that spans decades or centuries.

    • For-profit operators are typically in the business for benevolent reasons. Some will focus their efforts on aspects of the business that are more profitable or can generate higher return on investment (such as real estate/asset acquisition).

  • Use of surplus funds (profits):

    • Not-for-profit operators tend to operate on a break-even basis. They’re legally obligated to put surplus funds into programming, services, or facility enhancements for the benefit of residents. Many are charitable organizations that fundraise for the extras. 

    • For-profit operators can allocate surplus funds to dividends or profit sharing for owners. They can also sell or close parts of the operation that don’t earn a sufficient return.

Who is CHAA?

Christian Health Association of Alberta (CHAA) doesn’t offer care services directly to individuals. We’re an association that represents not-for-profit Contracted Provider organizations that DO offer services.

CHAA’s not-for-profit operators arrived in Alberta in the mid-1800s. We are the longest-serving care providers in the province, with each of our members having a service history ranging from 30 to 160 years. We operate in about half of all municipalities in the province and are often considered the province’s first public health care system.