Health Care is NOT Recession-Proof (an ongoing series)

Last Sunday's Boston Globe had a front-page article about how Boston-area hospitals were freezing capital spending plans.  Many hospitals contended that it was hard to justify new expenses in an environment where volumes were declining and philanthropy was down.  This article preceded the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, which has caused huge losses in the philanthropic community.  Paul Levy of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital has suggested that in Boston, the Madoff scandal might cause more financial distress among Boston nonprofits than the ongoing economic implosion.  

What does this mean for the cost of medical care?    Loss of capital dollars could lead to less building and fewer high technology purchases; this could lower overall medical costs over time.  Some will worry that this will also diminish technologic and other  innovation.