Day: May 10, 2020

Hospitals Struggle to Restart Lucrative Elective Care After Coronavirus Shutdowns

“Our hospitals, like every other hospital in the country, are half empty,” said Marvin O’Quinn, the president and chief operating officer for CommonSpirit Health, a Catholic system that operates 137 hospitals across 21 states.

As restrictions ease around the country, some states have begun allowing procedures unrelated to the coronavirus, like knee replacements, colonoscopies and mammogram screenings.

“As anyone waiting for an elective surgery knows, ‘non-urgent’ does not mean ‘minor,’” said Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon in allowing the state’s hospitals to resume business on May 1. “This is incredibly important medical care that we would not have told providers to delay if the threat of Covid-19 had not made it necessary.”

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This Is the Future of the Pandemic

By now we know — contrary to false predictions — that the novel coronavirus will be with us for a rather long time.

“Exactly how long remains to be seen,” said Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It’s going to be a matter of managing it over months to a couple of years. It’s not a matter of getting past the peak, as some people seem to believe.”

A single round of social distancing — closing schools and workplaces, limiting the sizes of gatherings, lockdowns of varying intensities and durations — will not be sufficient in the long term.

In the interest of managing our expectations and governing ourselves accordingly, it might be helpful, for our pandemic state of mind, to envision this predicament — existentially, at least — as a soliton wave: a wave that just keeps rolling and rolling, carrying

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Haphazard Rollout of Coronavirus Drug Frustrates Doctors

When the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency approval last week for an antiviral drug, remdesivir, to treat hospitalized coronavirus patients, many doctors were overjoyed. The drug is the first shown to be even mildly effective against the virus.

But bafflement soon followed as doctors and hospitals tried to obtain the drug. Small community hospitals with few beds received remdesivir, while medical centers besieged with cases were denied.

Only four hospitals in Massachusetts, for example, are known to have received remdesivir: three small community hospitals and Massachusetts General, a Harvard University teaching hospital.

Officials at Mass General said they had not even asked for the drug. Yet other major hospitals were left out, including Boston Medical Center, which has many vulnerable African-American patients.

“This is crazy,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Mass General. The hospital is giving its small supply of remdesivir — 26 cases

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