hospitals

Casa de Salud, a nonprofit clinic in Albuquerque, N.M., provides primary medical care, opioid addiction services and non-Western therapies, including acupuncture and reiki, to a largely low-income population.

And as with so many other health care institutions that serve as a safety net, this clinic's revenue — and its future — are threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET

Michelle Sweeney could barely sleep. The nurse in Plymouth, Mass., had just learned she would be furloughed. She only had four hours the next day to call all of her patients.

"I was in a panic state. I was sick over it," Sweeney said. "Our patients are the frailest, sickest group."

Sweeney works for Atrius Health as a case manager for patients with chronic health conditions and those who have been discharged from the hospital or emergency room.

As hospitals were overrun by coronavirus patients in other parts of the world, the Army Corps of Engineers mobilized in the U.S., hiring private contractors to build emergency field hospitals around the country.

The endeavor cost more than $660 million, according to an NPR analysis of federal spending records.

But nearly four months into the pandemic, most of these facilities haven't treated a single patient.

AP Photo/Steve Helber

When drive-through COVID-19 testing was first offered in Broward County, one of the first was at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston. That was five weeks ago.

 

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

The Miami Beach Convention Center will soon become a temporary 450-bed field hospital for a potential surge of coronavirus patients.

Medical rationing is not something Americans are accustomed to, but COVID-19 may soon change that.

The specter of rationing is most imminent in New York City, where the virus is spreading rapidly and overwhelming hospitals with patients.

According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state has 2,200 ventilators in its state stockpile. Current COVID-19 case projections suggest the state may not have enough of the machines, which help critically ill people breathe, as soon as next week.

Hundreds of hospitals across the U.S., including a number with sterling reputations for cutting-edge care, will be paid less by Medicare after the federal government pronounced that they had higher rates of infections and patient injuries than others.

Sun Sentinel

After months of negotiation, Boca Raton Regional Hospital will begin accepting UnitedHealthcare insurance plans as of Dec. 1.

UnitedHealthcare members enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid benefit plans will have network access to Boca Raton Regional Hospital, which was acquired by Baptist Health South Florida in July.

While thousands of cities and counties have banded together to sue opioid makers and distributors in a federal court, another group of plaintiffs has started to sue on their own: hospitals.

Victoria Gray slides open a closet door, pulls out a suitcase and starts packing piles of clothes.

"My goodness," says Gray. "Did I really bring all this?"

Gray, who has sickle cell disease, is the first patient with a genetic disorder whom doctors in the United States have tried to treat using the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR.

For 24 years, Karen Bradley worked as a nurse at St. Clare's Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. The pay wasn't great, she says, but it was a good hospital, the place where her father once worked as a pharmacist. Bradley thought that if she stayed she'd have a nice pension for retirement.

"I enjoyed what I did there and believed in the promises that were made about the pension," she says.

But a year ago, Bradley got a letter saying her pension was gone.

"Why is there nothing left? Who screwed up?" she wondered.

MIAMI HERALD

A new, permanent hospital building is being built in Marathon for Florida Keys residents.

The Fisherman's Community Hospital was flattened by Hurricane Irma just in September 2017. It's owned by Baptist Health South Florida. Ever since, the hospital has been operating out of tents, and then a year later, portable buildings.

nurses strike
Courtesy of Yajaira Roman and Gillian Edwards-Brown / WLRN

This post has been updated with additional information at 3:05 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

Nurses are on a one-day strike at two hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties Friday. 

Registered nurses with a union called the National Nurses Organizing Committee started picketing 7 a.m. Friday and will continue for the next twelve hours. They're striking at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah and Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes. 

 

Leo A Daly / Courtesy

A Miami-based architect has made it his mission to design hospitals to be more resilient to seismic events and hurricanes. 

Eduardo Egea, from the firm Leo A Daly, has been designing hospitals for almost 25 years. After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Egea came up with the idea to design a hospital that could ultimately help in the aftermath of a hurricane by using drones to get supplies to patients quickly and easily. “Drones are going to be part of our day-to-day tools that we will use in the future,” he said on Sundial. 

The 50-something man with a shaved head and brown eyes was unresponsive when the paramedics wheeled him into the emergency room. His pockets were empty: He had no wallet, no cellphone and not a single scrap of paper that might reveal his identity to the nurses and doctors working to save his life. His body lacked any distinguishing scars or tattoos.

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