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Increased medical costs mean that medical facilities may need to reduce their budgets. Oftentimes, this results in decreasing staff numbers and not replacing medical equipment and supplies when necessary. This is particularly troublesome for large-scale care providers, like hospitals, where supplies form a significant part of their budgets. "Many -- but not all -- of the price hikes are driven by the continually-rising price of oil, but others are not" (Zieger, 2008). The relationship between medical supply costs and oil prices is not simply about transportation, some medical supplies, like latex gloves, require oil to manufacture them. However, they also happen to be critical in helping curb the spread of disease in a hospital environment. "All told, it's an ugly picture that shows no signs of getting better over the near-term. And with many hospitals at the break-even point or even losing money, supply costs could be the straw that breaks the camel's back for some" (Zieger, 2008).
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