In the near future the programs, the staff, and the physical plant of private psychiatric hospitals will become increasingly specialized. Development of neuropsychiatric evaluation units and greater liaison between the psychiatric hospital and the clinical laboratory have already begun. Improved standards of patient care and opportunities for research should attract to the private hospital more psychiatrists who are academically oriented. The authors predict a decrease in inpatient acute-care alcoholism treatment and shorter hospital stays for adolescents and those who were formerly considered long-term patients. The private hospital will need to increase its contacts with industry and health maintenance organizations. The authors also predict that ownership will become more centralized in hospital chains, similar to the pattern in general hospitals. They believe the major risk to the private hospital lies in abrupt changes in insurance coverage and regulatory interference.