Amy Anderson, DNP, assistant professor of professional practice at Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences and an assistant professor at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, offered her insights on the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hospitals.
Along with co-author Daniel “Stormy” Johnson, MD, FACR, she noted that with elective procedures sidelined by government order at most hospitals across the nation, patients have been left with undiagnosed cancers and additional pain while awaiting such things as hip and knee replacement surgery.
The financial impact also has been staggering.
“The American Hospital Association predicts hospital losses of more than $202 billion from March to June,” she wrote. “Private medical practices, outpatient facilities and rural and safety-net hospitals are being hit especially hard.”
Anderson and Johnson offered three suggestions for a better strategy for the next pandemic (because, they said, there will be a next pandemic):
- Use isolation facilities, not complete shutdowns, and redirect suspected infectious disease patients there while maintaining regular medical care at other hospitals.
- Prepare a next-generation medical workforce by allowing students to safely learn from seasoned health professionals to prevent further shortage in the health care workforce educational pipeline.
- Adjust payment policy and “use specialized reimbursement to reward medical professionals on the front line during a national medical emergency.”