OK so this is actually happening in other cities outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I always wondered if it was just us or not?
Here in Northern Ohio, there were many different hospitals. Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals, Meridia Health system, Geauga hospital, Bedford Hospital, St. Lukes Hospital, Lake Hospital system, St. Vincent Charity, St. Michales, Mt Sinai (was around forever and was HUGE!), MaryMount Hospital, Fairview Park, SouthWest General, Cleveland Metro, and many more!!!
Columbia bought St Lukes a few years back, and were determined to make it work, and be one of the great hospitals it once was. They failed miserably, and the hospital system is history. This left only three major systems in the Northern Ohio area.
Then Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and University hopitals and PHS started to buy up, or have the smaller hopsitals merge one of the previous three mentioned.
Why? Because as the bigger grew, the smaller suffered. As the smaller ones suffered, they felt the only way to stay open would be to merge or sell.
Over the past few years, this continued, until everything was affiliated with CCF, UH or PHS.
In January, PHS went under and closed. Yes the long standing HUGE MT Sinai and all the other hospitals that merged with them ...... GONE!!!! Except for some valiant efforts to keep a couple open d/t legal and court intervention, all gone!
As for the two that are trying to stay open? They are a name only, and can't hardly take any patients INP or EMS.
Now? Everything that is left is either CCF or UH? (Except for Cleveland Metro, the city owned hospital, and now the only level I Trauma center, since that St. Lukes and Mt Sinai are history). Although the Lake system exists on it's own yet to my knowledge? They use qualchoice insurance (I think? Not 100% certain on this one) Qualchoice is the insurance of the UH system? You figure it out?
Anyhow, yes with the closing of many hospitals, as well as increased life expectancies, nursing home patients, increased Trauma and higher populations we too are feeling the increased pressure to tx excess numbers of people. Our hospital is near full all the time. Not only that, but all the other hospitals are near capacity much of the time. The city is going to be overwhelmed here, and the situation was on the news nightly throughout the month of January and February. Apparently, there are some new signs of a nursing shortage also. It is getting increasingly more dificult to find help these days.
the bottom line is, I think we are all starting to feel this, and this is only the beginning.