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Are We Living The Impact Of Mixing Business And Medicine?

Are We Living The Impact Of Mixing Business And Medicine?

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Business Medicine

Healthcare is starting to cost an arm and a leg, with U.S. spending reaching over 18% of GDP and rising. Maybe you’re thinking that doesn’t sound so high? That’s almost 10% more than healthcare spending for countries in the OECD. Healthcare has become so oppressively expensive that many are opting to abstain from care even when they need treatment, minorities and other vulnerable groups make up the majority of those affected. Now amid the Coronavirus crisis healthcare will be not only expensive but difficult to acquire because of quarantining measures and scarcity of supplies.

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Business or Medicine?

In recent years Americans have witnessed on average a 20% increase in their health spending, and that is only counting people with insurance. Those without may be spending even more, or worse, avoiding care completely. We have already seen such attempts to avoid or adapt treatment.

From 2009 to 2016 the cost of Epipens, a device that delivers a dose of epinephrine to manage the life-threatening effects of anaphylactic shock, grew from $100 to $600 causing some to hold on to old prescriptions past the point of expiration, or stop obtaining the life-saving drug altogether.

For those who face death without medicine, the costs are soaring. From 2012 to 2016 insulin prices caused diabetics to spend $2,841 more each year for treatment. There doesn’t seem to be relief in sight, with healthcare spending projected to reach $6 trillion a year by 2027.

Costs Less Known

The social costs of healthcare having a business bent are much higher than financial strains. Each year delaying or avoiding care leads to 125,000 avoidable deaths, with 26,000 dying due to lack of health insurance. The more vulnerable among the population suffer more deaths, making healthcare exceedingly more businesslike in ideology and approach, reducing people to probabilities and numbers. Nearly 9 in 10 of the uninsured are nonelderly adults, with minorities making up more than half of all uninsured.

The situation was dire for many before the onset of COVID-19, but now as the pandemic spreads, hospitals are dealing with critical shortages in equipment. Nearly 1 in 4 hospitals have fewer than 100 N95 masks on hand 1 in 5 hospitals report an immediate need for more ventilators In Feb. the FDA reported drug shortages related to Coronavirus. The strategic stockpile of N95 masks maintained by the federal government is also insufficient, with just 10.5 million of the estimated 300 million the country will need.

Healthcare has been under-serving some, now with difficulty abounding due to the Coronavirus, the system will have a hard time serving most.

Learn more about the social costs of mixing business and medicine below.

Business Medicine

The post Are We Living The Impact Of Mixing Business And Medicine? appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Remote-Work Revolution Has Wiped Out $453 Billion In Commercial Real Estate Value

Remote-Work Revolution Has Wiped Out $453 Billion In Commercial Real Estate Value

Leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, roughly 95% of commercial…

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Remote-Work Revolution Has Wiped Out $453 Billion In Commercial Real Estate Value

Leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, roughly 95% of commercial office space was occupied across the United States, according to US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a nonprofit, non-government organization. By March 2020, occupancy plummeted to 10%, and has only recovered to 47%, according to a new NBER report which claims $453 billion in office commercial real estate value has been wiped out in an "office real estate apocalypse."

Around the US, that resulted in a 17.5 percent decrease in lease revenue between January 2020, and May 2022, and not only because fewer offices were being occupied, but also because those that are being rented are going for shorter terms, lower prices per month, and a lot less floor space is needed as staff are told they can work from home for most or all the week.

Prior to the pandemic, 253 million square feet were rented per year; as of May 2022, just 59 million square feet had been rented, NBER's data indicates. "This indicates a massive drop in office demand from tenants who are actively making space decisions," NBER said. -The Register

What's more, while vacancy rates have hit a 30-year high, 61.7% of in-force commercial leases haven't come up for renewal since the pandemic - meaning that "rents may not have bottomed out yet."

What this means is that commercial real estate - a popular choice for pension fund managers and investors alike - may not be the best idea for the foreseeable future, given the continuing work-from-home options adopted by corporate America.

A common method used to invest in office real estate is commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), which are managed and traded via commercial mortgage-backed indexes (CMBX) made up of pools of CMBSes. 

According to NBER, more recent CMBXes tend to include a higher percentage of office collateral than earlier vintages. Those newer, office-heavy CMBXes, NBER said, are what's losing the most money. -The Register

NBER says that in 2019, commercial real estate assets topped $4.7 trillion - offices being the largest component.

Read the report below:

Tyler Durden Thu, 12/08/2022 - 19:20

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Down 7.7% Compared to Same Week in 2019

From CoStar: STR: US Hotel Occupancy Starts December Lower Than Pre-Pandemic WeekU.S. hotel performance came in higher than the previous week but showed weakened comparisons to 2019, according to STR‘s latest data through Dec. 3.Nov. 27 through Dec. 3,…

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U.S. hotel performance came in higher than the previous week but showed weakened comparisons to 2019, according to STR‘s latest data through Dec. 3.

Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, 2022 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019*):

Occupancy: 55.4% (-7.7%)
• Average daily rate (ADR): $141.71 (+10.2%)
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): $78.50 (+1.7%)

*Due to the pandemic impact, STR is measuring recovery against comparable time periods from 2019.
emphasis added
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four-week average.

Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2022, black is 2020, blue is the median, and dashed light blue is for 2021.  Dashed purple is 2019 (STR is comparing to a strong year for hotels).

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate is above the median rate for the previous 20 years (Blue) and close to 2019 levels.

Note: Y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate continue to decline into the Winter.

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Online Prices Just Did Something Really Surprising

Prices on the things we buy online saw the biggest drop in 31 months.

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Prices on the things we buy online saw the biggest drop in 31 months.

Inflation has ruined everything from going out to buying holiday presents for the family, but, as recent signs show, it may finally be starting to cool in at least some segments of the economy.

Gas prices in particular are dropping very quickly while the cost of cross-ocean shipping is also seeing significant improvement after the pandemic and supply chain disruptions sent those numbers skyrocketing in 2021. (Even if it doesn't always feel that way when you're sending your holiday packages this year.)

In November, prices for the goods we buy online fell by 1.9% year-over-year and 3.2% from October in the U.S.. That data comes from the Adobe  (ADBE) - Get Free Report Digital Price Index and is the largest drop seen in 31 months.

Cyber Monday Discounts Drove Overall Numbers

According to Adobe, such a steep drop has been significantly impacted by the discounts of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Many retailers overcorrected for last year's inventory shortages with an oversupply and, as the year wound to an end, started quickly dropping prices. The total of online purchases brought in $116.5 billion in November, up 1.7% from 2021 and 62.5% from the months before.

"While the November drop in online prices was driven by major discounting on days including Cyber Monday and Black Friday, we also see signs of overall e-commerce inflation cooling," Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and insights at Adobe, said in a statement. 

Computers purchased online, in particular, saw a steep drop by 18% from 2021. Electronics in general saw discounts of 13.4% year-over-year and 4.5% in October -- the biggest price fall since Adobe first started tracking online prices in 2014.

Electronics consistently make up the largest category of goods people buy online -- in 2021, electronics made up 18.6% share of all goods purchased online.

Toys, meanwhile, saw price drops of 7.7% year-over-year while prices on sporting goods dropped by 5.7% from 2021.

Adobe

Online Groceries Are Still Feeling The Effects Of Inflation

"Falling prices in categories such as toys and electronics accelerated demand in November," Adobe analysts write. "[...] Adobe's figures are not adjusted for inflation, but with the November DPI down 1.9%, it is clear that strong consumer spending has been driven by net-new demand—and not simply higher prices.:

Both online and off, food is one category that is still seeing high prices. Online grocery prices were up 13.7% year-over-year in November -- just the slightest dip from the record of 14% growth in October. 

Similarly to food, pet food and products are not usually discounted on days like Black Friday and therefore were not part of the steeply dropping numbers seen in categories like electronics and apparel. Prices for pet products rose by 11% from 2021 and fell just 0.2% from the previous month.

But overall, 15 of the 18 categories analyzed by Adobe saw a decrease in online prices while even the ones that didn't still saw signs that inflation may finally be reaching a tipping point. Categories like jewelry, personal care products and flower gifts see different levels of discounts (some are not part of Black Friday promotions at all) but all also saw drops in online prices.

"In categories such as groceries and personal care, which are not promotional in nature, we are seeing price increases come down from their heights in late summer and early fall," Brown said.

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