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Failing hospitals hurt the surrounding community.

Published on 1/11/2020
Hospitals are often the anchor of a community comprising the largest employer. More than that they are a place where the severely injured can go and get stabilized prior to transfer to a higher level of care. They can provide diagnosis and treatment for a large variety of bread and butter conditions and it's comforting for many families when their loved ones can get treatment close to home. There's many reasons why a hospital might not be fiscally sound and some of which are out of their control. However there are many things that hospitals can do to improve their financial viability and it would be a shame not to be a good Steward of resources. The board of directors has an obligation to supervise the executive team to make sure that they are not missing out on cost-saving opportunities and legitimate chances to improve revenue. The American College of Healthcare Trustees has many benefits that should be explored. Of course the Board of Trustees and executive team has an obligation to provide safe, high quality, and patient-centered care and if that becomes impossible then it is indeed time for the hospital to close its doors regardless of its importance to the community. A vicious cycle can occur when either inadequate government payments or poor quality and lack of patient-centered care causing decreased utilization causes revenue to fall off. When that happens the hospital can't afford adequate nursing and physician coverage and replacement of outdated equipment hence patient care deteriorates further and people don't want to go there. The get government penalizes the hospital for poor quality thus revenue falls off further extending the vicious cycle, forcing the closure of the hospital. Worst of all patients can get harmed during the downhill spiral. One DOESN'T need to be an ACHT Fellow for your hospital, your practice, your clinic to benefit from these expense lowering revenue enhancing benefits.