MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Hospitals shut at 30-a-year pace in U.S., with no end in sight

Posted by M. C. Fox on August 22, 2018

Highly regulated, Obamacare, outrageous insurance billing and still they fail.

Also wearing away at margins are technological improvements that allow patients to get more surgeries and imaging done outside of the hospital.

They don’t know how to deal with market forces. They haven’t had to operating under the government/insurance/bankster umbrella.

I am sure these problems would all disappear under democratic socialist bigger government.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/health-care/hospitals-shut-30-year-pace-us-no-end-sight

The risks are coming following years of mergers and acquisitions. The most recent deal saw Apollo Global Management LLC swallowing rural hospital chain LifePoint Health Inc. for $5.6 billion last month. Apollo declined to comment on the deal; LifePoint has until Aug. 22 to solicit other offers. Consolidation among other health-care players, such as CVS’s planned takeover of insurer Aetna Inc., could also pressure hospitals as payers push patients toward outpatient services.

There are already a lot of hospitals with high negative margins, consultancy Veda Partners health care policy analyst Spencer Perlman said, and that’s going to become unsustainable. Rural hospitals with a smaller footprint may have less room to negotiate rates with managed care companies and are often hobbled by more older and poorer patients.

Also wearing away at margins are technological improvements that allow patients to get more surgeries and imaging done outside of the hospital.

They “are getting eaten alive from these market trends,” Perlman cautioned.

Future M&A options could be too late—buyers may hesitate as debt laden facilities like Community Health Systems Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corp. focus on selling underperforming sites to reduce leverage, Morgan Stanley’s Zachary Sopcak said.

The light at the end of the tunnel is some hospitals are rising to the occasion, Perlman said. Some acute care facilities are restructuring as outpatient emergency clinics with free-standing emergency departments. “Microhospitals,” or facilities with ten beds or less, are another trend that may hold promise.

Be seeing you

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