Wisconsin hospitals had filed at least 104 lawsuits in small claims court since the state declared a public health emergency March 12. Most now say they are suspending the cases; one hospital has dismissed them after a reporter’s calls.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced millions out of work and the federal-state health program for low-income people could face unprecedented strains as many states don’t necessarily have the resources or systems in place to meet the demand.
In Philadelphia, New Orleans and Los Angeles, former safety-net hospitals sit empty in the middle of the city. But reopening a closed hospital, even in the midst of a pandemic when health resources are scarce, is not easy or cheap.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing changes to the U.S. health system that were previously unthinkable. Yet some fights ― including over the Affordable Care Act and abortion — persist even in this time of national emergency. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Liz Szabo about the latest installment of KHN-NPR’s “Bill of the Month.”
California is entering the most critical period in its battle against COVID-19, and may need thousands of hospital beds and ventilators to accommodate a surge of critically ill patients. Hospitals are taking extreme measures, such as using 3D printers to make ventilator parts and turning cafeterias into wards.
Florida joins more than 30 other states and the District of Columbia that have similarly restricted residents and businesses. Florida was the only state with more than 5,000 coronavirus cases that had yet to act.
In Los Angeles County and beyond, people continue to toil through the coronavirus pandemic, often in positions that put them in constant contact with the public. Many are low-wage workers who can’t afford to stop working.
Hidden costs for ER visits and other fees could cost people thousands of dollars.
At least 30 states have issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Florida, one of the eight states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases recorded so far, is the only one in that group not to have such an order.
Under pressure, the federal government announced it will let surgery centers, hotels and even college dorms serve as hospitals to treat an overflow of patients.