These 2 LA Hospitals Are Worlds Apart From Each Other–And Neither Has Enough Equipment To Deal With Surge
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center treats the world's top celebrities, while Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital serves some of Los Angeles' most vulnerable populations. But the distinctions between the two are fading fast as they both brace for an onslaught. Other hospital news comes out of Massachusetts and Texas.
The New York Times:
Coronavirus In L.A. County: Can Hospitals Handle A Surge Of Cases?
One is a top-ranked research hospital in West Los Angeles, with buildings named after Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand. Its hallways are hung with works by Picasso, Miro and Warhol, part of a 4,000-piece collection of donated art. Hollywood celebrities and royalty vie to recover in its first-come, first-served luxury suites. The other is a community hospital in South Los Angeles, surrounded by fast-food chains, liquor stores and discount shops. It, too, is a state-of-the-art institution, albeit one with far more limited resources, serving one of Los Angeles’s most vulnerable communities, home to the working poor and the uninsured as well as homeless tent encampments, where a significant portion of the population has underlying chronic health conditions. (Becker and Arango, 4/1)
Kaiser Health News:
California Hospitals Face Surge With Proven Fixes And Some Hail Marys
California’s hospitals thought they were ready for the next big disaster. They’ve retrofitted their buildings to withstand a major earthquake and whisked patients out of danger during deadly wildfires. They’ve kept patients alive with backup generators amid sweeping power shutoffs and trained their staff to thwart would-be shooters. (Hart and Barry-Jester, 4/1)
Tracking COVID-19 Hospital Expenses Important For Federal Funding
COVID-19 relief funding for hospitals will be coming through several government sources, so experts recommend that hospitals immediately begin tracking all their expenses and lost revenue. Hospitals could be eligible for funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, several funding streams set up by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, state grants and HHS programs. Each of the funding sources can be used for different purposes, have different requirements and are likely to be audited later. (Cohrs, 4/1)
A Critical Number That Is So Hard To Pin Down: Are Massachusetts Hospitals On Track To Being Overwhelmed By Coronavirus Patients?
It is one of the key indicators of the spread of coronavirus and whether it will overwhelm our health care system: How many people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19? But right now it is impossible for the Massachusetts public to know this number, just weeks ahead of the projected peak of in-state coronavirus patients, in mid-April. (Arsenault, 4/1)
Houston Planning For Surge Of COVID-19 Patients
Houston health care leaders are urgently putting together contingency plans — from repurposing hospital beds not currently in use to creating a makeshift facility at NRG Stadium — to prevent an expected surge of COVID-19 patients from overwhelming area hospitals. The plans, assembled by leaders from the Texas Medical Center, the city of Houston, Harris County and the region, stress fluidity and flexibility because the extent of the surge, projected to peak in the next two to four weeks, is so maddeningly unknowable. (Ackerman, 4/2)