The coronavirus pandemic will spur major changes in the dialysis world, particularly when providing services to patients residing in the epicenters of the pandemic: nursing homes. More than one-third of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths are nursing home residents. There are nearly half a million hemodialysis patients in the United States, and more than 10 percent of these patients spend time at a nursing home at some point during a calendar year. This reflects both the vulnerability of the elderly population to COVID-19 infection and the difficulty in containing infection in these sequestered communities with residents living closely together.
As a result of legal requirements driven by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, outpatient providers have seen an unprecedented drop in patient volume and demand for healthcare services since mid-March. Demand reduction has varied by specialty; however, most providers have experienced drops of at least 60 percent, with some as high as 100 percent. Now, as states begin to reopen, healthcare providers have a critical window to plan to capture as much pent-up demand as possible. It is yet to be seen how much of this demand will be “captured” versus “destroyed;” however, providers can take proactive steps now to optimize practice economics, cash positions and long-term practice strength.
In recent days and weeks, you likely have heard or used the phrase, “We are all in this together.” This lovely sentiment of solidarity in the face of uncertainty is one way to give ourselves something to hang onto — a bonding of our human tribe during a profound moment in human history; a moment when we face the reality that yes, we really are all in this together.
As the new coronavirus continues its spread through the U.S., the general public can look for guidance from millions of Americans with weakened immune systems who long ago adopted the rules of infection control that officials tout to avoid contagion.
The number of U.S. health care workers who have been ordered to self-quarantine because of potential exposure to the new coronavirus is rising at an exponential pace. Many experts say something has to change.
The vice president’s remarks are more proof that health care is complicated.
Concerns over Comic Con in Seattle mount as HIMSS and other huge conferences halt their plans.
Emergency medical technicians, ambulance crews and some firefighters are facing new threats from the coronavirus, which could put their normal contingency plans to the test.
The wide field of Democrats vying to face President Donald Trump in the fall has been reduced to two major candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, each with a different prescription for the health system. Meanwhile, Congress and the Trump administration scramble to address the spread of the novel coronavirus. And the Supreme Court agrees to consider the latest case against the Affordable Care Act. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Tami Luhby of CNN and Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
If a coronavirus pandemic were to hit the U.S., only 36 states have blueprints for “crisis standards of care” to sort out who gets what kind of medical care amid scarce resources. And not all the plans are of high quality. That means health care providers in some states will be better prepared for a crisis than others — but all could face tough decisions.