David Houle and Jonathan Fleece are co-authors of the book The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America. Three years ago they co-authored a provocative short blog post in KevinMD, predicting that by 2020 one-third of American hospitals would close. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/03/onethird-hospitals-close-2020.html
They pointed to four factors for this:
First, America must bring down its crippling healthcare costs, and hospitals are one of the most expensive components of the system.
Second, statistically speaking hospitals are just about the most dangerous places to be in the United States. Three times as many people die every year due to medical errors in hospitals as die on our highways.
Third, hospital customer service is abysmal. Where else do you have to wait four hours for service?
Fourth, health care reform will make connectivity, electronic medical records, and transparency commonplace in health care, and customers will be able to do some comparison shopping for the first time.
We have invited them to speak with us about how we are doing along that path. Have hospitals taken notice and changed their ways? or are we still on a timeline toward closure of one-third of American hospitals? And if that is true, how will we receive our care in the new age?
David Houle is a futurist, advisor and speaker and Jonathan Fleece is a health care attorney, advisor, and speaker.