Latest Morning Briefing Stories
An extreme drop-off in procedures and patients other than those who have COVID-19 has taken the hospital industry out at the knees financially. Hospitals that were barely staying afloat before the pandemic have been hit especially hard. In other industry news: pediatric-care deserts crop up, California wants more power to stop mergers and more.
“As President Trump’s associates are cleared for transfer, tens of thousands of low-risk, vulnerable individuals are serving their time in highly infected prisons,” the lawmakers wrote. News on prisons comes from California and Montana, as well.
People with the virus can be contagious without a fever, so temperature checks can only do so much. In other news on reopening: Hollywood eyes new safety measures as it considers restarting productions; amusement parks plan to open but doubt remains whether people will actually go; dental office get the message out that they’re taking patients again; and more.
The number is likely to be an undercount because only 80% of nursing homes submitted their reports. The numbers demonstrate a sobering toll among nursing home staffers, as well, with more than 34,400 getting sick and nearly 450 dying from the coronavirus.
Media outlets report on news from California, Missouri, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Maine, South Carolina and Michigan.
States and businesses are trying to protect their residents and workers with new safety measures–including putting up plexiglass between cashiers and costumers. It’s just one example of the new, booming marketplaces created by the virus. Media outlets also look at where states stand on their plans to reopen.
Media outlets report on news from New York, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio and Michigan.
The availability of ICU beds is one measure of a hospital’s ability to care for its most vulnerable patients, and Montgomery, Alabama hospitals are struggling to meet that metric. News outlets take a look at where states across the country stand with reopening.
The altered guidance also deleted a reference to “shared cups” among items, including hymnals and worship rugs, that should not be shared. Tensions have been high between state and federal governments and churches throughout the lock downs.
Several states had planned to take steps to expand health care options for their residents. Then COVID-19 came along. In other health industry news, struggling hospitals try to kick-start non-coronavirus procedures again.
Data, provided after public-records requests were filed, shows that nearly 62% of the deaths in the state were recorded at 80 long-term care facilities. News also focuses on the financial toll the virus is taking on the industry across the country and comes from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan and California, as well.
Media outlets report on news from California, Texas, District of Columbia, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Media outlets report on news from Nevada, New York, Virginia, District of Columbia, Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware, Alabama, Ohio, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Georgia, Maine and Massachusetts.
Religious gatherings, banned in the state since March 19, can resume by following new state guidelines for reopening. Some church leaders are acting in open defiance of those new rules while others decide to wait longer to reunite their congregations. Church reopening news is reported from New Jersey, Florida and Virginia, as well.
Reuters reports on a doctor navigating her pregnancy while working in a downtown Los Angeles hospital that mostly serves lower-income Hispanic and African-American populations. News on health care workers reports on New York’s decision to extend death benefits to families and on more people who have lost their lives, as well.
California’s economic strengths have now become the state’s weaknesses as it tries to game out a recovery plan. In other news on the economic toll: racial and gender disparities in business and job losses; hard-hit families that were stretched to near-breaking point before the crisis; and paid sick leave is moving to front of mind during pandemic.
Although people could already sign up for coverage if they had an unexpected life event, California specifically created a special enrollment period to make it easier. In other health industry and insurer news: MLR rebates, accountable care organizations, and Medicare payments.
And if the country had locked down two weeks earlier, 54,000 fewer people would have died by early May, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers. The numbers offer a harsh lesson as states move toward reopening.
Advocates are angry that ICE is asking for a bailout, though. “This administration is asking taxpayers to bail out an agency as a result of the very policies it put in place which have caused revenue loss,” said Melissa Rodgers, the director of programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.
Medicaid consumes about 20% of state budgets, and even state leaders who have supported expansion of the program are viewing it as a way to avoid sinking into economic devastation.