Las infecciones están exacerbando algunas condiciones médicas y dificultando la reducción de la propagación de covid dentro de las paredes del hospital, especialmente porque los pacientes se presentan en etapas más tempranas y más infecciosas de la enfermedad.
As omicron sweeps the country, many hospitals are dealing with a flood of people hospitalized with covid — including those primarily admitted for other reasons. While often milder cases, so-called incidental covid infections still drain the beleaguered health care workforce and can put them and other patients at higher risk for contracting covid.
States are required to set up transportation to medical appointments for adults, children and people with disabilities enrolled in the Medicaid program, and contracts can be worth tens of millions of dollars for transportation companies. But patients say the companies that deliver those rides are showing up late — and sometimes not at all — leaving them in bad weather, disrupting their care and even causing injuries.
Rural areas such as Echols County, Georgia, have high levels of uninsured people and profound physician shortages that compound the lack of health care options, especially in the 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid.
A record number of hospitals closed in rural America last year. For the residents of Cuthbert, Georgia, the loss has meant many problems, including delayed care for emergencies that can turn deadly.
As hospital systems and insurers adjust to the pandemic, their contract negotiations grow increasingly fraught. Contracts for in-network care are ending without a new deal, leaving patients suddenly with out-of-network bills or scrambling to find new in-network providers.
The latest iteration of President Joe Biden’s social-spending package would close the health insurance gap for at least 2.2 million people, making a huge difference especially in the South, where political opposition has blocked Medicaid expansion.
The pandemic has so seriously strained already tight state psychiatric hospitals in Georgia, Virginia, Texas and elsewhere that these facilities for the poorest and most vulnerable people with mental illness struggle to admit new patients.
Health care workers already bore the brunt of workplace violence in the U.S. Now, tensions from an exhausting pandemic are spilling over into hospitals.
Group homes and facilities that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were hurting for staffers before the pandemic. Now the nationwide job crunch and pandemic pressures are making it even worse.