Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hospitals ill from more bad debt, credit troubles - Yahoo! News

Hospitals ill from more bad debt, credit troubles - Yahoo! News
"Around the country, while some hospitals still are doing well, closings and bankruptcies seem to be picking up.
In New Jersey, where 47 percent of hospitals posted losses in 2007, five of the 79 acute-care hospitals closed this year, and a sixth may close soon. In Hawaii, nearly every hospital is in trouble, with two filing for bankruptcy and one nearly closing recently.
All over, hospitals are cutting costs by outsourcing services like housekeeping and security and trimming staff through layoffs, hiring freezes and attrition. Most are trying not to touch patient care jobs — nurses, pharmacists, therapists and X-ray technicians — as those already have staff shortages.
"The last thing we can do is skinny down our staffing right where we need it the most," said Mike Killian, marketing vice president for the three Beaumont Hospitals in suburban Detroit. "

We are all paying for this in getting sicker before we seek care and/or in higher cost for our medical bills and our insurance premiums. Closer to home we see dramatic increases in charity care. We are in need of a bail out and a nationalization of the health insurance industry.

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