Furor Erupts: Billions Going To Hospitals Based On Medicare Billings, Not COVID-19

Probably few hospital systems need the emergency federal grants announced this week to handle the coronavirus crisis as badly as Florida’s Jackson Health does.

Miami, its base of operations, is the worst COVID-19 hot spot in one of the most severely hit states. Even in normal years, the system sometimes barely makes money. At least two of its staff members have died of the virus.

But in a scathing letter to policymakers, system CEO Carlos Migoya said the way Washington has handled the bailout “could jeopardize the very existence” of Jackson, one of the nation’s largest public health systems, and similar hospital groups.

“We are here for you right now,” Migoya, who has tested positive for COVID-19 himself, said in a Thursday letter to Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services. “Please, be here for us right now.”

Migoya and executives at other beleaguered systems are blasting the government’s

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Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

Hello! It’s Friday again and when looking back on the stories from the week I can’t believe some of them happened only days ago — anyone else feel as if we’re living full years in a single day? But I’ll do my best to sum up some of the top news from you.

First, though … if you are having strangely vivid dreams about bugs or lethal injections or tidal waves, you are not alone! A side effect of this pandemic for a lot of people seems to be vivid nightmares. One reason? We’re actually getting more sleep now that we’re not go, go, going. (At least that’s what experts guess.)

At the beginning of the week, there were dire warnings that it was going to be a tough one. The surgeon general went so far as to compare it to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. The warnings have played

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‘It’s Like Walking Into Chernobyl,’ One Doctor Says Of Her Emergency Room

At one New York City hospital, a doctor’s used mask tore as she performed CPR on her infected patient.

In Seattle, a nurse compares walking into her intensive care unit to bathing in COVID-19.

And in St. Louis, a nurse slips her used N95 mask into a paper bag at the end of her shift and prays it’s disinfected properly.

These are scenes playing out in hospitals across the country, based on interviews with over a dozen residents, doctors and nurses who go into work every day feeling unprotected from the disease they’re supposed to treat.

Nearly a month into the declared pandemic, some health care workers say they’re exhausted and burning out from the stress of treating a stream of critically ill patients in an increasingly

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A Colorado Ski Community Planned To Test Everyone For COVID-19. Here’s What Happened.

In late March, residents of the Colorado town of Telluride and surrounding San Miguel County stood in line, along marked spots spaced 6 feet apart, to have their blood drawn by medical technicians wearing Tyvek suits, face shields and gloves for a new COVID-19 test.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tests for the virus that causes the respiratory illness have been in short supply since the outbreak began, this was a new type of test. It wasn’t to see who was sick right now. It was an antibody test that would assess who had been exposed and how widespread the virus was in the community to inform decisions about managing the outbreak.

When part-time Telluride residents and United Biomedical Inc. co-CEOs Mei Mei Hu and Lou Reese had offered to provide their company’s newly developed COVID-19 antibody tests for free to not just Telluride, but all of

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