The model of supply and demand has been popular in economics for centuries. With the evolving changes in healthcare and government policies, this concept is more relevant to healthcare than ever before. The price of oil is down, in part, because of the glut of supply available on the marketplace. Middle Eastern countries are betting that as prices remain low, newer oil producers in the U.S., who have a higher production cost per barrel than the Mideast, will close their doors. That would reduce supply and competition, and the price of oil would go back up, assuming electric and solar don’t take the country by storm by then.
Let’s relate this to common healthcare economics. Imagine if census days dropped 30 percent, and unused clinic visits increased by 20 percent. Prices would surely decrease, and organizations would be looking at ways to increase their patient population or face contraction. If healthcare organizations downsized to fewer staff and beds, and suddenly all of the patients returned, what might happen?