14 April 2020

Hospitals are laying off staff in response to the pandemic

Hospitals across the country have deferred or canceled non-urgent surgeries to free up bed space and equipment for covid-19 patients. But that triage maneuver cut off a main source of income, causing huge losses that have forced some hospitals to let go of health-care workers as they struggle to treat infected patients.

Last week, Bon Secours Mercy Health, which runs 51 hospitals in seven states, announced it would furlough 700 workers. On Wednesday, Ballad Health, which operates 21 hospitals across Tennessee and southwest Virginia, delivered the same bad news to 1,300 employees and said executives would take pay cuts. Employees at Children’s National Hospital in the District were informed this week that they must take off one week, using either vacation time or, if they have none, unpaid leave...

For hospitals already in bad financial shape before the outbreak, the loss of income has raised doubts about their ability to keep treating patients...

Michigan’s Beaumont is one of the more financially stable hospital systems in the country, Fox said. Under normal conditions, the company earns about $16 million each month in net operating income. But after postponing elective surgeries, Beaumont is losing about $100 million a month, he said...

It is not just hospitals feeling the crunch. Family physicians, pediatricians, internists and other doctors who make their money from in-person visits have seen their business dry up because patients are staying home, putting off checkups or putting elective procedures on hold.
A salient reminder (if one is needed) that this country does not have a health-care system.  We have thousands of competing systems.


  1. And the only one that seemed likely to try and fix it has dropped out of the race.

  2. I don't understand this. We have full hospitals because of Covid, and yet, doctors aren't busy and the hospitals aren't making money.

    Are all medical services for Covid free? Weren't the graduating med students early because they didn't have enough medical personnel? Aren't we urged not to take physical risk because hospitals are already strained?

    What a mess. :(

  3. This is insane.

    You are right on with the competing systems. No collaboration at all. So bad.

    Back over in Europe, where the health care systems vary from private to public with various mixtures in between, hospitals at least collaborate by sending staff over to each other and retaining and retraining staff of closed departments. Everybody understands it's all hands on deck, so knee surgeons are now helping out their completely overworked IC buddies by taking over the easier tasks in the IC. Same with nurses and all other personnel.

    America has completely forgotten to collaborate. It is costing tens of thousands of people their lives.

    And too many people are following the lead of the president and are completely abandoning decency and their responsibility.

    Another example. Personal shopping services are completely overrun at the moment because many more people would rather have other people do the groceries for them. But do you think the hiring managers are giving a simple call to the restaurants in the mall next to those supermarkets where all waiting staff has been fired to get some more labor? No no no. They're desperately advertising online. And do you think those restaurant managers are giving their neighboring supermarket a call asking if their can use their waiters? Nup. They're just whining they're having such a hard time. So much short-sighted selfishness. It is disgusting.


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