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.