Patients

Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors As Heart Attack And Stroke Patients Delay Care

The patient described it as the worst headache of her life. She didn’t go to the hospital, though. Instead, the Washington state resident waited almost a week.

When Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary finally saw her, he discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.

The neurosurgeon did his best, but it was too late.

“As a result, she had multiple other strokes and ended up passing away,” said Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Washington. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent.”

Chowdhary said the patient, a stroke survivor in her mid-50s, had told him she was frightened of the hospital.

She was afraid of the coronavirus.

The fallout from such fear has concerned U.S. doctors for weeks while they have tracked a worrying trend: As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the number of patients showing up at hospitals with serious

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Telehealth Will Be Free, No Copays, They Said. But Angry Patients Are Getting Billed.

Karen Taylor had been coughing for weeks when she decided to see a doctor in early April. COVID-19 cases had just exceeded 5,000 in Texas, where she lives.

Cigna, her health insurer, said it would waive out-of-pocket costs for “telehealth” patients seeking coronavirus screening through video conferences. So Taylor, a sales manager, talked with her physician on an internet video call.

The doctor’s office charged her $70. She protested. But “they said, ‘No, it goes toward your deductible and you’ve got to pay the whole $70,’” she said.

Policymakers and insurers across the country say they are eliminating copayments, deductibles and other barriers to telemedicine for patients confined at home who need a doctor for any reason.

“We are encouraging people to use telemedicine,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last month after ordering insurers to eliminate copays, typically collected at the time of a doctor visit, for telehealth visits.

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NYC Nurse Says He’s Not Scared: ‘I Am Only Doing My Job’ For COVID-19 Patients

Before the deadly coronavirus hit New York, Francisco Díaz’s job as a gerontological nurse practitioner was educating seniors on managing their diabetes. Now, he’s at the heart of the pandemic, working in a New York City emergency room.

“I have worked during the influenza outbreaks, the swine flu, but never a public health threat of this dimension,” said Díaz. April 8 was “one of the hardest days” at his hospital, Mount Sinai West, he told KHN. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced nearly 800 people in the state died that day from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Francisco Díaz, a gerontological nurse practitioner, is working in the emergency department at Mount Sinai West hospital in New York City during the coronavirus crisis and says his fluency in Spanish comes in handy for Hispanic patients and their worried families. It is, he says, “very important to offer them information about

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As The Country Disinfects, Diabetes Patients Can’t Find Rubbing Alcohol

While the masses hunt for toilet paper, Caroline Gregory and other people with diabetes are on a different mission: scouring stores for the rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs needed to manage their disease.

Gregory stopped in Carlie C’s, Dollar General and then Harris Teeter in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in pursuit of this vital component of her medical routine.

“We’re all supposed to be staying at home, and I’m out going to 10 different stores,” said Gregory, 33, whose diabetes could heighten her risk for COVID-19 complications. “That’s also not safe.”

Rubbing alcohol and alcohol swabs or wipes are the latest products swept up by the nation’s demand for anything and everything seen as a disinfectant against the novel coronavirus — by hospitals and average consumers alike.

Andy Lerman, vice president of operations for Hydrox Laboratories, a manufacturer based outside Chicago, said the majority of the low-profit-margin medical product his

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