“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.” - Groucho Marx
Americans have always been fascinated by what happens in hospitals. From Marcus Welby, MD to E.R., the inner workings of hospitals keep TV viewers enthralled. St. Elsewhere and Grey’s Anatomy shifted the theme from saving lives at all costs to saving lives while keeping the doors open.
Historically, hospitals have had noble intentions: to save lives and maximize positive clinical outcomes. However the fiscal reality is that hospitals have been forced to balance providing quality care while trying to maintain profitability. Not many are successful. In fact, 61% of US hospitals are operating unprofitably. For many hospitals operating costs continue to rise while reimbursement rates fall.