Access to capital will be a serious problem for a subset of our nation's hospitals in the 1980s. Without adequate capital to modernize or maintain life-safety codes, certain facilities may have no other choice than to close their doors. The consequences of closure are far-reaching and long-lasting. The hospitals that exit from the market may be forced out as a result of their location or payor mix, and not as a consequence of their inefficiency. Allowing capital formation in the hospital industry to be determined by the market criteria of bottom-line performance may lead to a serious contraction of the field, to increased financial hardships for the hospitals that remain, to reduced service provision, and to plant deterioration.

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