A substantial number of United States (U.S.) hospitals have closed in recent years. The trend of closures has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, as hospitals have experienced financial hardship from reduced patient volume and elective surgery cases, as well as the thin financial margins for treating patients with COVID-19. This trend of hospital closures is concerning for patients, healthcare providers, and policymakers. In this current opinion piece, we first describe the challenges caused by hospital closures and discuss what policymakers should know based on the existing research. We then discuss unique opportunities for researchers to inform policymakers by conducting careful studies that can shed light on different implications, trade-offs, and consequences of various strategies that can be followed.
Saghafian, Soroush, Lina D. Song, and Ali S. Raja. "Towards a more efficient healthcare system: Opportunities and challenges caused by hospital closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic." Health Care Management Science 25 (June 2022).