North Carolina’s seven largest hospital systems recorded $7.1 billion growth in cash and financial investments from 2019 to 2021. These seven systems reaped $5.2 billion in net profits in 2021, and all but one even enjoyed higher net profits than before the pandemic.
The large hospital systems built these profits while taking
$1.5 billion in taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief meant to support struggling hospitals from 2020 to 2021. When they then accepted another $1.6 billion in Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments, most hospital systems boasted enough cash on hand to operate for more than half a year without any incoming revenue — or more than 10 times as long as many rural hospitals. Despite the stark disparities, governmental accountability for the disporportionate distribution of relief was lacking, as well as transparency about how the hospital systems used the COVID relief dollars.
The dominant hospital systems did not share their massive profits with disadvantaged patients. In 2020, only a sliver
of their $3.1 billion growth in cash and investments was devoted to increasing charity care spending despite record unemployment rates and economic pain from the pandemic and the lockdowns.
I suspect such behavior was not restricted to North Carolina hospitals.
If the rules are effed up that badly, first - and mainly - blame the people who make the rules. (There may be further blame elsewhere.)
- People respond to incentives
- Legislators pass the incentives
- Lobbyists write the incentives, and fund the legislators
- everyone convinces themselves that they’re not the ones with dirty hands
so dome with medicine
1) People respond to incentives
2) Legislators pass the incentives
3) Lobbyists write the incentives, and fund the legislators
4) everyone convinces themselves that they’re not the ones with dirty hands
- blame the poor for being poor, and give them a lecture on personal responsibility.
blame the people who make the rules.
You cannot make rules that are rock solid and have no unintended consequences. That is not possible. At some point you must expect society to do the right thing for society and stop being so selfish and only looking out for number one.
Long COVID might be increasing healthcare demand. I’m not a fan of for-profit hospitals (imperfect market), but prefer them to bankrupt or no hospitals. Long COVID might affect 23 million USians, pushing about 1 million out of work. (The US economy added about 2 million workers every year between 2010 and 2019, and about 6 million in the last year.)
— links —
All Employees, Total Nonfarm (PAYEMS)
May 2022: 151,682,000
May 2021: 145,141,000
Feb 2020: 152,504,000
Feb 2018: 148,064,000
Feb 2012: 133,512,000
Long COVID, Published: March 02, 2022
“How many people in the U.S. have developed “long COVID”? It could be in the range of 7.7–23 million, some estimates say. We discuss what is and isn’t known about long COVID—new, returning, or ongoing health problems 4 or more weeks after an initial case of COVID-19. For example, some people with the condition experience chronic fatigue and have to stop working, which can affect their income and health insurance. But other economic effects are still unclear.
Long COVID has potentially affected up to 23 million Americans, pushing an estimated 1 million people out of work. The full magnitude of health and economic effects is unknown but is expected to be significant. The causes of long COVID are not fully understood, complicating diagnosis and treatment. The condition raises policy questions, such as how best to support patients.”