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Hospitals during recession and recovery: Vulnerable institutions and quality at risk

Authors

  • Jeremy B. Sussman MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    2. Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • 6312 Medical Science Building 1, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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    • Telephone: 734-647-4844; Fax: 734-647-3301

  • Lakshmi K. Halasyamani MD,

    1. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Matthew M. Davis MD, MAPP

    1. Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    2. Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    3. Division of General Pediatrics and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Disclosure: Nothing to report.

Abstract

For generations, American hospitals have been considered recession-proof, but there is reason to believe the current economic crisis is an exception. Hospitals have shown declining financial margins and decreased admissions. The severe recession has adversely affected many hospitals' finances, creating a risk of closure and constraining plans for expansion. We believe there is also a risk of harming clinical quality, through decreased staffing that may limit the momentum of the hospital quality movement, especially in fiscally vulnerable institutions. We consider ways the federal government could aid hospitals by promoting hospital quality while providing employment. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2010;5:302–305. © 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.

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