Nonprofit Health Centers On Frontlines Of Crisis Face Federal Funding Cut Off In May
Community health centers face dwindling equipment and resources as they try to care for uninsured Americans amidst the COVID-19 emergency. And there's an added stress for these facilities because their federal funding will run out in May. Meanwhile, how insurance will cover coronavirus testing and treatment remains an open question.
They're Treating Uninsured Americans. But As Coronavirus Ramps Up, Money Is Running Out.
The clinician at International Community Health Services in Seattle took his time before entering the checkup room. He tried not to think about the clinic’s dwindling resources or the challenges of getting coronavirus testing kits as he soaped and scrubbed his hands pink, wrapped a heavy-duty mask around his face and snapped on disposable rubber gloves and a pair of goggles. The full outfit is necessary every time he meets patients — largely low-income Asian Americans and immigrants who have Medicaid or no insurance at all — even as the clinic’s orders for medical supplies come in short and disinfectant levels run low. (McCausland, 3/14)
State Public Health Cuts Hamper Coronavirus Containment: Experts
For years, health experts said state governments didn’t do enough to bolster their public health offices and services. Now they are struggling to catch up as COVID-19 spreads through their communities. Most state and local governments put public health on the back burner when it comes to their priorities and in some cases, reduce the amount dedicated to those offices, according to Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director at the American Public Health Association. Benjamin, a former secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, said these cuts left many states in a weakened position to fight the coronavirus outbreak. (Pereira, 3/16)
The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus And Insurance Policies: What Is Covered?
As the new coronavirus has been spreading across the U.S., many Americans are worried not just about being exposed to the virus and their health. They also want to know how various insurance policies they own—or are thinking about buying—would help them financially. Here are some commonly asked questions. (Scism, 3/15)
Dallas Morning News:
For The Uninsured, Including Many Immigrants, Concerns About Coronavirus Testing Costs Running High
As of 2018, the most recent year for which U.S. census data was available, 5.1 million people in Texas, or 18% of the state’s population, were uninsured .And Hispanics are the state’s most unprotected population, with 61% lacking health insurance, according to the Texas Medical Association.In Dallas, 24.4% of residents were uninsured in 2018, census data shows. (Garcia and Keomoungkhoun, 3/15)
What if you're sick with something besides coronavirus? Treatment is getting more complicated —
The Wall Street Journal:
What To Know About Getting Noncoronavirus Health Care
As hospitals brace for a surge of patients sickened by the new coronavirus, they are canceling surgeries and pushing even routine doctor visits away from their facilities. Doctors and hospitals are evaluating cancellations to distinguish between scheduled surgery that can wait, such as a routine screening colonoscopy or knee replacement, and procedures that can’t, such as a bone scan or MRI to reveal how far cancer has progressed. (Wilde Mathews and Evans, 3/15)
Emory To Postpone Elective Surgeries Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
One of metro Atlanta’s largest health care groups is postponing elective surgeries for the next two weeks as the system confronts increasing patient demands amid the coronavirus outbreak.Emory Healthcare said Sunday it will postpone “all inpatient and outpatient elective surgical and procedural cases,” starting Monday. Procedural cases include such things as colonoscopies. After two weeks, Emory Healthcare said it will evaluate week-to-week. (Trubey, 3/15)
The New York Times:
Her Cancer Surgery Was Canceled At A Hospital Bracing For Coronavirus
Alison Krupnick was mentally preparing herself for the surgery set for early in the coming week that could eliminate her early-stage cervical cancer. But on Friday, she got word from the hospital: Because of the crush of coronavirus patients, her surgery was being called off. Ms. Krupnick was left feeling as if a time bomb was inside of her, and no firm word on when her surgery would be rescheduled. (Weise, Baker and Bogel-Burroughs, 3/14)
In Effort To Prevent Hospital Visits, Paramedics Treat Patients In Their Homes
When 97-year-old Clara Morano had trouble breathing as well as swelling in her legs earlier this year, an ambulance took her to the emergency room at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, where doctors helped her recover. If those symptoms return, she may not have to leave home. Morano, who has congestive heart failure, is among the patients who could be served by a new program that is deploying paramedics to provide hospital-level care in patients’ homes. (McCluskey, 3/15)