While COVID has destroyed, the global economy over the past 2 years, in America, one major complication that threatening to grow the number of COVID-related fatalities is the financial dire straits facing many hospitals.
With health insurance companies continuing to slash benefits in their never-ending effort to find new ways to limit what healthcare services they are willing to cover, many hospitals nationally were forced to close their doors to the sick.
American hospitals, oftentimes shoulder the responsibility to provide care to anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay. They are continuously hindered when patients are forced to jump through every possible hoop there is in an effort to possibly have a portion of their costs for a visit covered and now unfortunately face a new reality of increased operating costs while attempting to endure a systematic reduction in revenue.
As a result of this as well as the fact that over the past several years public and private funding for hospitals has been drastically reduced, hospitals have been put in a position where they must either adapt so that they can continue serving their patients or be forced to shut down.
While some hospitals have been able to continue to serve the sick via the creation of localized hospital systems, this series of mergers that has effectively allowed these vitally important medical facilities to remain open are being challenged by an out of touch Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that is creating unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to more lifesaving facility mergers based on outdated, inaccurate information about hospital consolidation, falsely equating the mergers to attempts at monopolization.
With the constant threat of new COVID variants and the dire need for Americans to have better access to live-saving care, the FTC must not stand in the way of creating the most effective health care system possible and finally acknowledge that the world has changed and that hospitals need to change with it or fail.
Elements of this article originally appeared in the Washington Times.