Doctors

Dental and Doctors’ Offices Still Struggling with COVID Job Loss


California’s outpatient health care practices largely shrugged off two recessions, adding more than 400,000 jobs during a two-decade climb from the start of 2000 to early 2020. It was an enviable growth rate of 85% and a trend largely mirrored on the national level.

Then came COVID-19.

Anecdotal stories abound about the crushing impact the pandemic has had on a range of outpatient medical services, from pediatric and family medical practices to dental offices, medical labs and home health care. In California, as in many other states, thousands of doctors, dentists and other health care providers temporarily closed offices this spring as state health officials directed them to suspend non-urgent visits. Many others sat open but largely idle because patients were too scared to visit the doctor given the risk of running into someone with COVID-19 in the waiting room.

As the economy has reopened, so have many medical offices.

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COVID Runs Amok in 3 Detroit-Area Jails, Killing At Least 2 Doctors

When Diana Trueblood visited the Wayne County Jail’s medical unit in Detroit in early March, she encountered a gentle and kind physician, Dr. Angelo Patsalis.

Halfway through her incarceration for a probation violation, Trueblood remembered sitting “knee to knee” with Patsalis, who pulled down his face mask to speak to her about a tuberculosis skin test. She and other inmates were not provided with face masks, she said, and they pulled up their T-shirts to shield their mouths.

“He was blunt, but he was concerned about my health,” Trueblood said. In jail, usually, “they just don’t care.”

Trueblood and other inmates knew something serious was going on. Cramped in their cluttered cells, they tried to watch the news about the pandemic on “a little TV way up high,” she said. “But you could barely hear it … and we could just see their lips move. Most of what we found

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Why Doctors Keep Monitoring Kids Who Recover From Mysterious COVID-Linked Illness

Israel Shippy doesn’t remember much about having COVID-19 — or the unusual auto-immune disease it triggered — other than being groggy and uncomfortable for a bunch of days. He’s a 5-year-old, and would much rather talk about cartoons, or the ideas for inventions that constantly pop into his head.

“Hold your horses, I think I know what I’m gonna make,” he said, holding up a finger in the middle of a conversation. “I’m gonna make something that lights up and attaches to things with glue, so if you don’t have a flashlight, you can just use it!”

In New York, at least 237 kids, including Israel, appear to have Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. And state officials continue to track the syndrome,

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Readers And Tweeters: Doctors Chime In On Telemedicine Costs

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names.


Next Time Take Time To Consult Doctors On Telehealth

As a cardiologist and pediatrician at the University of Mississippi, I take issue with your article about telemedicine (“Telehealth Will Be Free, No Copays, They Said. But Angry Patients Are Getting Billed,” April 27). Describing the care sessions as “phone chats,” as the headline on the companion NPR article did, substantially misrepresents what we do. Why did the article get published without the point of view of a single physician? The nature of this complaint boils down to this — I would never try to ask you to write journal articles for me, for free. We, in medicine, ask the same of you. If all phone consultations with physicians were free, we would never

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