Hospitals overwhelmed by another surge of COVID-19 patients, financial strain

2 months ago 13
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Registered caregiver Nikki Hollinger cleans up a country arsenic a assemblage of a COVID-19 unfortunate lies successful a assemblage container labeled with stickers astatine Providence Holy Cross Medical Center successful the Mission Hills conception of Los Angeles, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The latest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic successful the U.S., driven by the delta variant of the microorganism that causes the disease, has pushed up the seven-day mean of COVID-19 hospitalizations from 19,123 connected June 15 to 80,664 connected Aug. 15 — an summation of 322%.

The hospitalizations thin to beryllium higher in states with debased vaccination rates, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

But a misleading Instagram post questions the seriousness of the pandemic and its effect connected hospitals. “If determination were genuinely a pandemic that was ‘overwhelming hospitals,’ past hospitals wouldn’t beryllium laying disconnected thousands of nurses who garbage to instrumentality an experimental vaccine,” the station reads.

While immoderate infirmary unit person been fired for refusing to get the vaccine — notably astatine hospitals in Houston and New Jersey — the wide fig dismissed for that crushed is apt to beryllium precise tiny astatine this point, Colin Milligan, a spokesperson for the American Hospital Association, told america successful an email.

Milligan noted that galore hospitals person deadlines successful precocious August oregon September for complying with mandates oregon deadlines that are tied to afloat support of the vaccines.

About 1,600 — a small much than a 4th — of each hospitals successful the U.S. person immoderate benignant of vaccine mandate, Milligan said. “There truly isn’t grounds that hospitals are shedding employees owed to mandates,” helium said.

Earlier successful the pandemic, immoderate wellness attraction providers were forced to tighten their budgets and trim unit owed to little wide diligent volume, canceled elective procedures and higher expenses tied to the pandemic — not due to the fact that COVID-19 isn’t real, arsenic the station suggests.

But Milligan noted that Bureau of Labor Statistics information show hospital employment has really ticked up somewhat by 11,000 jobs from January to July. Although inactive beneath the pre-pandemic precocious successful February 2020, infirmary employment was up 45,200 jobs successful July compared with a twelvemonth ago, BLS information show.

The pandemic continues to enactment a terrible fiscal strain connected hospitals, however. More than 260 hospitals furloughed employees and astatine slightest 20 others laid disconnected workers implicit the past year, according to Becker’s Hospital Review, a aesculapian commercialized publication.

A March study by the consulting service Kaufman Hall & Associates indicated that the fig of hospitals operating successful the reddish is apt to summation passim the twelvemonth and the fiscal wellness of agrarian hospitals volition beryllium importantly affected by the fallout of the pandemic.

“We person not bounced backmost successful presumption of maintaining fiscal stability,” Rick Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, said erstwhile the study was released. “And — conscionable arsenic importantly — we are being acceptable backmost successful our quality to attraction for the sick, injured and keeping radical healthy.”

At hospitals deed hardest, doctors and nurses person been dealing with a flood of unvaccinated patients and are “no longer giving capable attraction to patients,” Dr. Catherine O’Neal, the main aesculapian serviceman astatine Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center successful Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said astatine an Aug. 2 press conference.

On Aug. 17, the Florida Hospital Association reported more than 16,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, a 162% summation from the erstwhile highest connected July 23, 2020.

“There tin beryllium nary question that galore Florida hospitals are stretched to their implicit limits,” Mary Mayhew, president of the Florida Hospital Association, said successful an Aug. 17 press release, noting that “staff shortages” are compounding the problem. “While hospitalizations proceed to increase, 3 retired of 4 Florida hospitals expect to look captious unit shortages successful the adjacent 7 days, an summation of astir 10 percent since past week, and fractional of our hospitals volition nary longer judge transportation patients from different facilities.”

Editor’s note: SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project is made imaginable by a assistance from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The instauration has no control over FactCheck.org’s editorial decisions, and the views expressed successful our articles bash not needfully bespeak the views of the foundation. The extremity of the task is to summation vulnerability to close accusation astir COVID-19 and vaccines, portion decreasing the interaction of misinformation.

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