Everyone’s been to a hospital at some point in their life. I’m not saying that these are usually enjoyable experiences... but it is a luxury nonetheless. Hospitals are quite obviously a vital part of our healthcare system as well as a vital part of our lives. What do you do when your wife goes into labor? You take her to the hospital. What do you do if your child becomes very sick? You take them to the hospital.
Imagine no longer having that luxury. Or at least not having that luxury within a reasonable distance to your home. That is the reality facing some people today. Rural hospitals are closing their doors and leaving many people without an emergency care center sensibly close to their home.
One of the main reasons that Espy Services does what it does is to help out businesses and healthcare organizations overcome these negative operating margins so that they can better serve you. We don’t want to see rural hospitals close their doors because they simply don’t have the funds to pay for their overhead. We understand how important healthcare is to the United States. That is why we do our part by offering cost saving opportunities that help hospitals get back in the positive. A hospital may not even notice the waste that they have incurred until they get an outside perspective. We can give that outside perspective in order to inform hospitals of areas where they could be saving money.
According to RevCycle Intelligence, around 41% of rural hospitals faced a negative operating margin in 2016. This is definitely not good news for the healthcare industry. This lack of financial stability is leading to hospital closures all across the country. Because of these declining operating margins, there have been 80 rural hospitals that have closed their doors within the last 7 years. To me, that's alarming without even mentioning the fact that if we don’t figure out a way to fix these operating margins, that number is only going to continue to grow. It’s a scary reality that people living in a rural area may not be able to receive emergency care in the time they most need it.
673 rural hospitals are now in danger of closing their doors, according to Becker’s Hospital CFO Report. That’s 673 hospitals in the United States! There are many different reasons for these threats but I think we can all agree on one thing, it needs to be fixed. One of the big problems that is creating these negative operating margins for many hospitals is the fact that they have not adopted Medicaid expansion. For example, there have been major problems in Kansas because Medicaid expansion hasn’t been implemented. They have seen several rural hospital closures and there is no guarantee that there won’t be more.
Imagine if all of those 673 hospitals were to close their doors. Think about the impact that it would have on the economy. According to the Becker’s Report, if all of those vulnerable hospitals were to shut down, there would be 99,000 healthcare jobs lost. That is 99,000 people who would be out of a job and thrust into unemployment. Another crazy stat from the report says that if these hospital closures came to fruition, our country’s GDP would lose an estimated $227 billion.
We here at Espy have the same worries that you do. We worry about having a place to take our kids when they are sick. We worry about having a place to take our parents during an emergency. That is why we offer the services that we do. We want to see these organizations thrive. That’s why we offer opportunities that can help them do that.
Think about it this way. Depending on the size of the organization, Espy could save you around $10,000 over a two year period just by reviewing your invoices and finding places where you’re being overcharged. There are so many productive ways that a healthcare organization could be using that money. Just by receiving a simple contingency based audit or speaking to us about government funding that is available to rural healthcare facilities, your organization could be brought out of the negative and into the positive.
As always, thanks for reading. We hoped you enjoyed it and maybe even learned something about the major problem facing our healthcare system. Have a wonderful day.