Janet Yellen insists inflation is not something we need to be terribly concerned about. Yet it has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Perhaps it should be on yours, as well.

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that my understanding of the economy’s inner workings hardly compares with that of our current Treasury secretary. After all, she earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale. I took a couple of econ classes.

But I am not the only person worried about a rapid uptick in inflation. Another is former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

So what does this have to do with running a long-term care facility? It’s a good question. Here’s a good answer: A lot.

The problem with an unusually high inflation rate (say, above 3%) is that it dramatically drives up the cost of doing business. That renovation project you priced a year ago at $15 million? Well now it might be closer to $25 million. The supplies for patients went from $100,000 to $150,000.

High inflation also can  eat into investments and an organization’s fiscal reserves. It’s like a tax that delivers nothing in return.

Moderate inflation is generally good for the economy — and your business. That’s one reason the Fed likes to keep it around 2% a year. But as many of us learned by eating chocolate and White Castle hamburgers, too much of a good thing can lead to bad things.

Clearly, some troubling drivers are at play. One is the aforementioned hike in federal spending related to COVID-19 relief. And then there’s the Biden infrastructure proposal, likely to cost $800 billion to $3 trillion.

We are also seeing tremendous wage-hike pressures. Throw in lawmakers disinclined to address deficit spending, and sentiment among the Central banks that inflation is not a biggie, and here is the all-but-inevitable result: A ton of new cash in circulation.

Even those of us with a state-school education can attest that too much money chasing too few goods is the standard recipe for hyperinflation. 

Yellen insists the Treasury Department has plenty of tools at its disposal to keep inflation rates in check. Maybe she’s right.

But what if she’s not?