AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack today responded to a recent commentary in the Washington Post that suggested hospital consolidation has contributed to fewer beds being available to treat COVID-19 patients.

“America’s hospitals and health systems have been intensely focused on preparing to care for patients suffering from the novel coronavirus,” Pollack writes. “From the very outset of the outbreak, hospitals have significantly transformed their operations — from the use of virtual care to devising solutions to deal with the shortages of drugs and equipment, such as ventilators — to respond aggressively to the pandemic.

“Regrettably, a recent piece regurgitates misinformation about hospital mergers. The fact is that mergers are responsible for expanding the capacity of smaller and rural hospitals in particular to prepare for and provide care in these unprecedented circumstances by creating more robust systems of care. Without the lifeline of financial, technical, material and professional support provided by these systems of care, the situation would be even more dire for many Americans."

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