Nonprofit hospitals of all sizes have been trying their luck as venture capitalists, saying their investments improve care through the creation of new medical devices, health software and other innovations. But the gamble at times has been harder to pull off than expected.
Nursing home operators acknowledge that large numbers of staff members are not getting the shots but fear a federal vaccination mandate could drive away workers in a tight labor market.
With schools reopening, poll finds two-thirds of parents support mandating masks for unvaccinated students, but resistance to vaccinating students remains high. “My child is not a test dummy,” one Black parent told pollsters. Some parents deferred the decision to their teens.
About three dozen elite health systems are involved in for-profit hospital projects overseas. Though the systems are exempt from U.S. taxes for providing “community benefit,” there’s limited evidence that such business ventures benefit American patients.
As the crisis crushed smaller providers, some of the nation’s richest health systems thrived, reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in surpluses after accepting huge grants for pandemic relief. But poorer hospitals — many serving rural and minority populations — got a smaller slice of the pie and limped through the year with deficits and a bleak fiscal future.
A student sought counseling help after feeling panicked when she had trouble paying a big tuition bill. A weeklong stay in a psychiatric hospital followed — along with a $3,413 bill. The hospital soft-pedaled its charity care policy.
Renowned medical centers are among the quarter of general hospitals that will lose 1% of Medicare payments for one year because their patients have high rates of bedsores, sepsis and other preventable complications.
Each year, Medicare punishes hospitals that have high rates of readmissions and high rates of infections and patient injuries. Check out which hospitals have been penalized.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C., makes money and does not require taxpayer subsidies. But the county is selling the public hospital because officials say it needs more capital to compete. Civic leaders say the change will lead to higher health care costs.
Half the public believes the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, but most are prepared to continue to take measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 until vaccines are distributed.