COVID Pandemic Rages On Amid Resurgence Of Elective Procedures
Last year, when the CDC began studying COVID-19, Dr. Fauci informed us all that COVID was likely to become a seasonal disease. New research shows that weather patterns do indeed affect the transmission of COVID, but they won’t eliminate it. COVID likes the cold and dislikes the sun. That means it spreads easier in the Fall and Winter. However, instead of accommodating the predictable influx of COVID patients in the Fall, the hospitals began scheduling elective procedures that had been forestalled since the beginning of the pandemic.
This has created a situation where hospital beds are filling up, both because of COVID-19 and because there are fewer beds available to emergency patients.
The economics of hospitals
Hospitals take losses on inpatient admissions. Anyone who comes there with COVID, or a heart attack, or a stroke, is generally not going to pad the coffers of the hospital. Where they make their money is on elective procedures. The hospitals during the pandemic were taking huge losses because they could not schedule elective procedures for fear that beds would not be available to COVID patients. Nonetheless, the hospitals booked themselves nearly to capacity with elective surgeries while COVID cases were spiking.
The problem with hospitals
Hospitals and nursing homes contributed most of the early deaths to the pandemic. Many patients who went into the hospital with strokes, heart attacks, or even on psychiatric holds never made it out. They caught COVID while in the hospital and died of the disease. With infection measures failing in hospitals so frequently, it seems absurd to place restrictions on the public when medical professionals themselves cannot stop the spread. Hence why there is at least some backlash toward government mandates.
Almost every state passed laws limiting the liability of hospitals for COVID contractions on-premises. That makes it impossible for a heart attack patient to file a lawsuit against a hospital where they caught the disease. Essentially, these lawsuits are prohibited by statute and will remain that way until the pandemic is declared over. That appears to be no time soon as a new variant has recently been announced.
Meanwhile, the financial interests of the hospital board and investors are steadily improving. With more elective surgeries being scheduled, the hospital can look forward to an influx of capital this holiday season. However, you should be aware that if you schedule an elective surgery during the pandemic, the death rate of those who contracted COVID in the hospital from April to September of 2020 was around 21%.
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