I must’ve asked a dozen attendees and exhibitors at last year’s MGMA Conference how they thought the economic downturn would impact hospitals, and nearly all of them said any effects would be minimal. Healthcare is insulated, they said. No matter how bad things get, people are still going to need care.
That was in October, when the economic crisis was still fresh and had not really set in for most of us. Four months later, it’s like a different world.
We now know with quite certainty, unfortunately, that healthcare is most definitely not immune to the economic crisis. Hospitals are being closed, thousands of staff workers are being laid off, and plans to expand facilities and implement systems have been delayed — and in some cases, squashed.
And it’s not just hospitals. It seems more and more industries are feeling the crunch — even the money-making giant that is the National Football League. The Super Bowl, one of the most extravagant events in the world, and normally a day in which we as a nation kiss our muscles in acknowledgement of how big the day has become, is noticeably subdued this year.
An article posted on the website for Fox Sports sums it up perfectly:
In years past, the Super Bowl was so much more than a game. It was an outright orgy of football, glitz and gluttony, a celebration of excess where too much was never enough.
This year, it’s a different game. Even those watching at home will notice a difference. General Motors and FedEx, two companies whose ad spots were as reliable as the winning couch being doused with Gatorade, have pulled their commercials, despite the fact that NBC lowered the price.
And perhaps most surprisingly of all, ticket prices have dropped for the first time in Super Bowl history. It’s amazing — the sports world is where I turn to escape issues like the recession. But now, it seems even football isn’t safe.
Last year’s Super Bowl – better days for many of us!