Why one-third of hospitals will close by 2020 - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
USMLE Articles
Go Back   USMLE Forums > General Topics Forum

General Topics Forum Useful USMLE preparation and exam taking discussion, guides, resources, ads, services, problems, and more

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-15-2012
patho2012's Avatar
USMLE Forums Veteran
Steps History: ---
Posts: 213
Threads: 13
Thanked 115 Times in 78 Posts
Reputation: 125
Warning! Why one-third of hospitals will close by 2020

For centuries, hospitals have served as a cornerstone to the U.S. health care system. During various touch points in life, Americans connect with a hospital during their most intimate and extraordinary circumstances. Most Americans are born in hospitals. Hospitals provide care after serious injuries and during episodes of severe sickness or disease. Hospitals are predominately where our loved ones go to die. Across the nation, hospitals have become embedded into the sacred fabric of communities.

According to the American Hospital Association, in 2011 approximately 5,754 registered hospitals existed in the U.S., housing 942,000 hospital beds along with 36,915,331 admissions. More than 1 in 10 Americans were admitted to a hospital last year.

Hospitals make a substantial imprint on local economies. In many communities, hospitals represent one of the largest employers and economic drivers. Of the total annual American health care dollars spent, hospitals are responsible for more than $750 billion.

Despite a history of strength and stature in America, the hospital institution is in the midst of massive and disruptive change. Such change will be so transformational that by 2020 one in three hospitals will close or reorganize into an entirely different type of health care service provider. Several significant forces and factors are driving this inevitable and historical shift.

First, America must bring down its crippling health care costs. The average American worker costs their employer $12,000 annually for health care benefits and this figure is increasing more than 10 percent every year. U.S. businesses cannot compete in a globally competitive market place at this level of spending. Federal and state budgets are getting crushed by the costs of health care entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Given this cost problem, hospitals are vulnerable as they are generally regarded as the most expensive part of the delivery system for health care in America.

Second, statistically speaking hospitals are just about the most dangerous places to be in the United States. Three times as many people die every year due to medical errors in hospitals as die on our highways — 100,000 deaths compared to 34,000. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that nearly 100,000 people die annually in hospitals from medical errors. Of this group, 80,000 die from hospital acquired infections, many of which can be prevented. Given the above number of admissions that means that 1 out of every 370 people admitted to a hospital dies due to medical errors. So hospitals are very dangerous places.

It would take about 200 747 airplanes to crash annually to equal 100,000 preventable deaths. Imagine the American outcry if one 747 crashed every day for 200 consecutive days in the U.S. The airlines would stand before the nation and the world in disgrace. Currently in our non-transparent health care delivery system, Americans have no way of knowing which hospitals are the most dangerous. We simply take uninformed chances with our lives at stake.

Third, hospital customer care is abysmal. Recent studies reveal that the average wait time in American hospital emergency rooms is approximately 4 hours. Name one other business where Americans would tolerate this low level of value and service.

Fourth, health care reform will make connectivity, electronic medical records, and transparency commonplace in health care. This means that in several years, and certainly before 2020, any American considering a hospital stay will simply go on-line to compare hospitals relative to infection rates, degrees of surgical success, and many other metrics. Isn’t this what we do in America, comparison shop? Our health is our greatest and most important asset. Would we not want to compare performance relative to any health and medical care the way we compare roofers or carpet installers? Inevitably when we are able to do this, hospitals will be driven by quality, service, and cost — all of which will be necessary to compete.

What hospitals are about to enter is the place Americans, particularly conservative Americans cherish: the open competitive market. We know what happens in this environment. There are winners and losers.
A third of hospitals now in existence in the United States will not cross the 2020 finish line as winners.

David Houle is a futurist, advisor and speaker and Jonathan Fleece is a health care attorney, advisor, and speaker. They are the authors of . The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America.
Submit a guest post and be heard on social media’s leading physician voice.


It doesn't sound like good news.
Thoughts, anyone?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 03-15-2012
USMLE Forums Master
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 3,318
Threads: 170
Thanked 4,847 Times in 1,808 Posts
Reputation: 4900
Wink Here's my two cents

Nice article above but the author did not give us an alternative to those hospitals which are going to be closing! My best guess is if ever this happen (though I highly doubted) then these closed hospitals will be compensated by enlarging other remaining hospitals, ie the bed number would still be the same if not more.

Globalization and the free market (as the author hinted) would results in fewer companies, I agree, but these are giants companies and will acquire and swallow the small fishes (in our case the bad performing hospitals).

The author could have better argued that America is moving to the "Medical Home", which means we are moving services from the hospital to the patient home by increasing primary care coverage and preventing disease before it needs hospital admission. Yet, even in that prospect, I don't believe tertiary care would ever be down in America.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-15-2012
USMLE Forums Scout
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 25
Threads: 7
Thanked 30 Times in 8 Posts
Reputation: 40

i really dnt know whom to believe..somebody says that doctor deficiency will rise by 2020 and many more doctors are needed...the very next day some one will post saying that in the crunch of the economy US will close many of its teaching hosp to all IMG's.. God only knows what the future holds for IMG's who are applying for 2013 match..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message


Opinions-, US-Healthcare-

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just passed the CK; Take the steps close together GTTAG USMLE Step 2 CK Forum 7 04-20-2012 05:10 PM
Observerships in small hospitals dr_mhm USCE & Clinical Rotations 6 03-15-2012 11:18 PM
Visa Sponsored Hospitals? JJtheMD IMG Residency Match Forum 0 06-11-2011 09:54 AM
Atrial Septal Defect, does it close or not? cerebrum85 USMLE Step 1 Forum 3 03-08-2011 11:08 PM
military hospitals, anyone? h2z33 IMG Residency Match Forum 2 08-21-2010 01:51 PM

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)