“Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) tanked premarket after filing for Chapter 11 yesterday. It plans to shut all stores and liquidate inventory by June 30. The big-box chain, which still hopes for a buyer, expects net proceeds of about $718 million from sales.” [Bloomberg The Open April 24]

Sobering news from a stalwart big-box chain that just couldn’t remain competitive and that failed to pivot during the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Those arm-length economic transactions that became so vital in a “lockdown” economy just didn’t keep pace. I, for one, will be disappointed to see them leave the market.

These shocking headlines aren’t only reflective of what’s happening in the consumer goods sector, it is also impacting other sectors, including healthcare. In a recent article in Modern Healthcare [Friday, April 21, Modern Healthcare’s Don’t Miss] entitled, “When safety-net hospitals close, what happens to nearby providers?” we see the BB&B scenario playing out in healthcare. “I have been a CEO since 1988, and this is the worst operating environment I have ever seen,” said Michael Young, president and CEO of Temple University Health System, which operates safety-net hospitals in Philadelphia. “We are going to continue to see closures of not just services and programs, but entire safety-net hospitals.”

It is probable that some tertiary hospitals may face economic challenges in the future due to various factors such as rising healthcare costs, changes in healthcare policies and regulations, and increasing competition. However, it is important to note that the situation may vary depending on the location and specific circumstances of each hospital.

Tertiary hospitals often provide specialized care and services that are not available at other healthcare facilities, making them an essential part of the healthcare system. They may also have access to more advanced technology and equipment, which can attract patients seeking high-quality care. These factors may help some tertiary hospitals to maintain their financial stability.

However, tertiary hospitals may also face financial pressure due to increasing healthcare costs, including the cost of new technologies and drugs, as well as the cost of attracting and retaining highly skilled medical professionals. Changes in healthcare policies and regulations may also have an impact on their economic sustainability, especially if they result in reduced reimbursement rates or increased administrative burden.

To survive economically, tertiary hospitals may need to explore new revenue streams, such as partnerships with other healthcare providers, offering specialized services or programs, and improving operational efficiency. They may also need to consider implementing cost-saving measures, such as reducing waste and optimizing their use of resources.

Overall, while some tertiary hospitals may face economic challenges in the future, it is important to recognize their critical role in the healthcare system and support their efforts to maintain financial sustainability. It is in all of our best interests!

In this community we rely on our tertiary and quaternary hospitals/systems and protecting those community resources is a community responsibility.