News Roundup July 10th, 2020

As states grapple with resurging cases of COVID, Florida and Texas have taken steps to mitigate capacity issues at Hospitals and ICUs. Bans on non-elective surgeries are implemented or extended further in these states. Because procedures like hip and knee replacement are deprioritized, home health admissions have been plummeting. 

From Home Health Care News:

“Compared to relative highs in February and March, home health admissions dropped by about 17% following the initial national COVID-19 surge, according to data shared by Homecare Homebase at last month’s Medicare Advantage for Home Care Virtual Summit. Hospice admissions also saw a roughly 17% dip.”

As recently as yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbot extended a ban on non-essential surgeries “in hospitals in all counties located within 11 Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) in Texas.”

From KFDM News, Beaumont:

“The Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. “ 

Similarly we see health care institutions in Florida making the call to pause elective surgeries across different locations in West Florida.

From WFLA: 

“HCA Healthcare West Florida Division hospitals in Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties will delay certain inpatient surgeries and procedures amid rising coronavirus cases across the state.”

And finally over at Washington Post, while Telehealth is rapidly being embraced by healthcare institutions, there is still a gap in who has access due to income disparity with communities needing it the most struggling to implement it. Daniel Horn (MD a primary care physician and director of population health at Massachusetts General Hospital) describes over at Washington Post.

From Washington Post:

“the widely hailed telehealth revolution is leaving our most vulnerable patients behind. Unless health-care systems commit to deploying video technology that is explicitly designed to provide care for our most vulnerable patients, telehealth will further entrench health disparities.”