The financial burden of the Covid-19 epidemic caused many US hospitals to slip to the brink of bankruptcy, millions of health workers could lose their jobs next month.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans are still being recommended at home to slow the spread of the corona virus and ease the burden on the country’s healthcare system. However, this has led many hospitals to become financially exhausted because of declining health care needs.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended health care providers suspend non-urgent surgeries to make room for Covid-19 infected patients and secrete save on medical protective equipment.
Some doctors have to suspend chemotherapy for less dangerous cancers, in order to comply with government recommendations and avoid suppressing a patient’s immune system. In addition, services such as mammography, colonoscopy and malignant tumor screening have been discontinued.
Financial burden and translation of Covid-19
The Wall Street Journal said it was impossible to accurately estimate the damage of these suspension orders. Malignant cancer may not be detected and get worse. In the meantime, physical and imaging tests are needed to diagnose many other diseases.
Next comes the financial burden on the health care system. Most doctors and hospitals in the US make money from non-urgent surgeries for patients with health insurance. Currently, their largest source of money has been exhausted.
In addition, some hospitals become overloaded patients infected with corona virus. Many places have to cut salaries and relax employees to stay active. Oxford Economics predicts that 1.5 million non-essential health care workers will lose their jobs next month.
The Mayo Clinic reduced the doctor’s salary by 10%. The Boston Health Center also gives 10% of the workforce leave. Bon Secours Mercy Health, with 43 hospitals and 1,000 outpatient facilities in 7 states, has to suspend employees who do not treat patients infected with Covid-19.
“When we go into crisis, we are very strong financially and in a better position than many other health systems. But a pandemic puts a financial burden on our entire resources, ”John Starcher, CEO of Mercy, told employees.
St. Claire HealthCare in Kentucky also retires more than 25% of its employees, while Appalachian Regional Healthcare is closing its outpatient clinics and centers.
The Association of Commercial Hospitals in Pennsylvania reports member hospitals losing $ 1.5 billion to $ 2 billion per month. Philadelphia’s Einstein healthcare network also estimates the largest financial loss ever.
Apply for bankruptcy protection
Even the hospitals in New York bragged about. “In the past few weeks, some of our non-essential employees have not been working at full capacity, some have no work to do. They just hope someone needs them, ”said Anne McCaffrey, CEO of Eastern Niagara Hospital.
Last year, Eastern Niagara was one of 20 hospitals that filed for bankruptcy due to Medicaid and Medicare compensation. A RAND study estimates that Medicare pays only about 40% of private insurance companies, while Medicaid pays 70% and less than 50% in states like New York and California.
Most patients with coronary infection who are hospitalized are elderly and low-income people. As a result, hospitals that treat large numbers of Covid-19 patients will not be able to get the full cost.
US Congress’s $ 2,200 billion bailout package gives Medicare patients 20% more compensation, while providing hospitals with $ 100 billion. However, no one knows how the money will be distributed.
The original purpose of the blockade was to reduce stress for health care providers. However, according to the assessment of the University of Washington, the need for resources of hospitals has peaked, while in places with few patients infected with Covid-19, thousands of beds are empty.
“Politicians and the press are praising doctors and health workers for their sacrifices and courage. However, the suspension of a series of medical services can cause many doctors and medical staff to lose their jobs, ”the Wall Street Journal commented.