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COVID Latest Threat to Weakened Rural Health Care

To help you save money, a lot more than 50 % of rural hospitals nationally have furloughed or laid off employees, which includes Margaret Mary Healthcare facility in Batesville, IN St. James Parish in New Orleans and Lexington Healthcare facility in Lexington, NE, claims Morgan.

San Luis Valley Well being in rural Alamosa, CO, in the southern central aspect of the condition, has not found the expected surge of COVID-19 individuals. The regional medical center, which serves about fifty five,000 inhabitants, experienced found only eleven confirmed COVID-19 cases and two fatalities by April 28, claims SLV Well being Chief Medical Officer Carmelo A. Hernandez, MD.

The medical center prepared for the pandemic in mid-March by growing its forty nine-mattress capability, rising the range of ventilators, and training suppliers to work in diverse areas. The suppliers canceled all elective surgical procedures, strategies, and imaging, which has taken a hefty financial toll, he claims.

“We began out in a superior financial circumstance — we experienced 124 times of cash reserve — but the effect has been rather dramatic. The patient volume has dropped by at the very least 50 % in both the ER and outpatient clinics, from 50 to twenty-twenty five individuals every day in the ER, with the cheapest depend of 13 every day individuals, and from 325 visits every day to about 150 visits in the outpatient clinics,” claims Hernandez.

But hospitals never get paid for their services until eventually about sixty times later, claims Hernandez. He anticipates the revenue losses will present up in late May possibly and early June. In the meantime, the medical center has put price tag-preserving steps in put, these types of as minimizing entire-time employees hrs and asking employees to just take leave with out pay back.

The expected surge of COVID-19 individuals also hasn’t hit Ferry County Memorial Healthcare facility in Republic, WA, a essential access medical center that serves about seven,500 persons in the northern aspect of the condition. The county has only one positive scenario and no fatalities.

Even now, the medical center experienced to prepare by obtaining added ventilators, private protecting products (PPE), and medications for intubation. In the meantime, the medical center canceled all elective surgical procedures, strategies, and imaging, which has taken a substantial financial toll.

“Our revenue is down 38% in late April, when compared to in which we were being a year ago. To operate the medical center expenses us $38,000 every day,” claims Richard Garcia, DO, the hospital’s medical director and chief of employees.

To hold individuals harmless, the employees ramped up telehealth visits. “We get compensated $95 for every telehealth pay a visit to when compared to $one hundred eighty for standard visits — it’s a fraction of the earlier service provider payment,” claims Garcia.