Recent article showed 8 hospitals filed for bankruptcy protection or actually closed since October and it is happening all over the country as more than 50 hospitals already shut down mostly serving rural America before!
For example, St. Mary Hospital in Illinois plans to discontinue services and sell to another company which may use it as an outpatient facility!
Bonnie Memorial Hospital in Texas lost critical vote to get property tax revenues and the Board started to shut down the facility with loss of hundreds of jobs. In East Orange General Hospital , New Jersey has been financially troubled and filed for bankruptcy. Pioneer County Hospital in Newton, Miss. closed their ER doors on Dec.1st as the ( operations of hospital became no longer financially feasible!
Forest Park Medical Center Hospital in Dallas, Texas shut down and even employees were told ( sorry, funds will not be deposited into your account today!). New York based summit Park Hospital and nursing care center expected to shut down on December 31st as they were loosing $800.000 per month! In North Carolina , Franklin Medical Center was closed due to declining patient volume !
The question now , what are all these hospitals have in common ?, answer is simple , unhealthy financial structure spending more than you earn as revenue , so the inevitable decision to close hospitals, let go all the employees and all other supporting businesses of various vendors and services also become secondarily devastated. Unfortunately, the pattern of hospital closure started across America in small towns about one year ago and it looks like the pattern of more hospitals closing in 2016 will continue mostly affecting small and medium -sized hospitals!
Hospitals already started to take measures to cut down overhead cost, which will unfortunately include replacing physicians with cheaper ( Nurse Practitioners), replace nurses with minimum wage nurse aids, pharmacists with pharmacy technicians , cut health coast benefits to employees with more out of pocket cost being shifted to the employees and sadly massive lay offs . Some other Hospital systems got more creative and offered ( to issue refunds to unsatisfied patients) ranging from $100 to $2000, as they will download an APP on their mobile phone and communicate their concern and input directly to the hospital system which will issue the refund as ( a Token of appreciation to the patients) according to CEO David Feinberg of the Geisinger Healthcare .http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/geisingers-bold-move-dissatisfied-patients-offered-refunds
Here are some practical solutions to help prevent further potential hospital closures!
1. Adopt Concierge Medicine programs by teaming up with all small and medium sized medical practices to make a model of partnership to truly serve the community and help lessen the burden of healthcare cost that is unsustainable and crushing the Middle Class even further.
2. Collaborate to bring transparent and discounted ( Hospital- based services) which will help the cash flow cycle and prevent the looming financial crash and closure of hospitals
3. Adopt technology and social media to engage the community and inform them on what is the best way to save cost without compromising the quality of care.
4. Recognize the reality of healthcare shifting trends from in-hospital to out patient ambulatory care with rapid but efficient turn over of patients, then restructure hospitals accordingly.
5. Adopt alternative Medicine strategies and Wellness which is cheap and non invasive to avoid illness which is costly involving risky procedures.
It is crazy with our current healthcare crisis and shortage of doctors that further devastation is taking place in the with further losses affecting local economies that depend on hospitals for jobs, services and vendors all across America!
Dr Adel Eldin,MD, FACC,FACP
Wesley Chapel , Florida
Tel 877-DR ELDIN
Low Cost Quality Healthcare Program.
President ,Society of Physician Entrepreneur, Tampa Bay Chapter