Let’s Not Kid Ourselves About Acute Care Bed Supply

Some parts of the country, I’m looking at you Northern California, have so effectively squeezed all excess acute care bed capacity out of the system pre-Covid-19, that I don’t know what the New York Times could possibly mean:

Hospitals across the country are operating near or above capacity … With so many hospitals facing the same problems, the elasticity in the health care system is gone, and medical workers are being run ragged.

What elasticity? “Hospital Realignment” (a.k.a.merger activity) has long been praised for its ability to squeeze excess capacity out of the system.

Be careful what you ask for. You may get it.