Pandemic Wreaked Havoc On Hospitals’ Tried-And-True Playbook For Turning A Profit
Before the pandemic, hospitals relied on this strategy to make money: provide surgeries, scans and other well-reimbursed services to privately insured patients, whose plans pay higher prices than public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Then the pandemic turned the world upside down. In other news on hospitals and costs: rural care deserts, liability protections and payment models.
The New York Times:
Hospitals Knew How To Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened.
When the top-ranked Mayo Clinic stopped all nonemergency medical care in late March, it began to lose millions of dollars a day. The clinic, a Minnesota-based hospital system accustomed to treating American presidents and foreign dignitaries, saw revenue plummet as it postponed lucrative surgeries to make way for coronavirus victims. The hospital network produced $1 billion in net operating revenue last year, but now expects to lose $900 million in 2020 even after furloughing workers, cutting doctors’ pay and halting new construction projects. (Kliff, 5/15)
These 3 Charts Show How Rural Health Care Was Weakened Even Before COVID-19
It is too soon to know the full extent of the ways the pandemic will reshape health care in the United States, but if history serves as a guide, its rural areas, home to one out of five Americans, will be shaken. Even before the emergence of COVID-19, roughly 450 out of nearly 2,200 hospitals that serve these areas were sitting on the verge of closure, and vital services like obstetrics, chemotherapy and orthopedics were drying up. As states relax social distancing measures and communities attempt to resume normal life without COVID-19 being contained, those endangered modes of care could actually be taxed further if people had postponed non-emergency health visits. (Santhanam, 5/14)
Kaiser Health News:
As Congress Weighs COVID Liability Protections, States Shield Health Providers
Coronavirus patients and their families who believe a doctor, nurse, hospital or other provider made serious mistakes during their care may face a new hurdle if they try to file medical malpractice lawsuits. Under pressure from health provider organizations, governors in Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois and several other states have ordered that most providers be shielded from civil ― and, in some cases, criminal — lawsuits over medical treatment during the COVID-19 health emergency. (Jaffe, 5/15)
APM Providers More Likely To Manage Population Health During COVID-19
Providers that take part in alternative payment models are more likely to use population health strategies to address the COVID-19 pandemic than non-participants, according to a survey by consultancy and group purchasing organization Premier Inc. on Wednesday. More than 80% of APM participants use care management support to deal with COVID-19 patients compared to just half of providers that aren't in APMs. And about half of providers in APMs use triage call centers and remote monitoring, while less than a third of non-participants do. (Brady, 5/13)