In a March 2009 article Otolaryngology Medical News reports that in a study of 439 hospitals profits fell to zero in the third quarter of 2008. They also state that half of the hospitals in the study are actually losing money. Officials state that cutting staff and pay is not an option. Instead, the industry will spend less money on newer equipment and focus on efficiency.
Should this information concern you as a patient? Yes and no. In my opinion the same level and quality of care will still be offered by U.S. medical professionals but the industry will suffer in the way of research and technology advancement. Increasing the cost of medical care for consumers will hardly solve the problem as hospitals have already taken a big hit due to the number of patients who are no longer able to afford elective procedures. There are no easy answers to this dilemma.