Stay

At-Home Care Designed For COVID Likely Here To Stay At Cleveland Hospital

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In late March, Andrea Laquatra began to feel sick. At first, it was an overwhelming fatigue, and the 32-year-old Cleveland mother of two tried to push through it.

A fever, headaches and body aches soon followed. Then she noticed she’d lost her senses of taste and smell.

By March 23, Laquatra could no longer deny the nagging fear she’d had since first falling ill: She might have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, which by then had been detected in every state. That day, 351 new cases, 83 hospitalizations and three deaths were reported in Ohio.

The phone call Laquatra made next, to a COVID-19 hotline staffed by the area’s public health system, MetroHealth, likely helped contain the spread of her illness to only her husband, Tony.

Andrea Laquatra called MetroHealth Medical Center’s COVID-19 hotline in Cleveland after exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus. The

Read More

Rapid Changes To Health System Spurred By COVID Might Be Here To Stay

The U.S. health care system is famously resistant to government-imposed change. It took decades to create Medicare and Medicaid, mostly due to opposition from the medical-industrial complex. Then it was nearly another half-century before the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has done what no president or social movement or venture capitalist could have dreamed of: It forced sudden major changes to the nation’s health care system that are unlikely to be reversed.

“Health care is never going back to the way it was before,” said Gail Wilensky, a health economist who ran the Medicare and Medicaid programs for President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.

Wilensky is far from the only longtime observer of the American health care system to marvel at the speed of some long-sought changes. But experts warn that the breakthroughs may not all make the health system work better, or

Read More

Millions Stuck At Home With No Plumbing, Kitchen Or Space To Stay Safe

In nearly half a million American homes, washing hands to prevent COVID-19 isn’t as simple as soaping up and singing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing.

In many of those homes, people can’t even turn on a faucet. There’s no running water.

In 470,000 dwellings in the United States — spread across every state and in most counties — inadequate plumbing is a problem, the starkest of several challenges that make it tougher for people to avoid infection.

That’s according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of data from the Census Bureau and the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C. The analysis reveals other ways that inadequate housing in the United States puts people at risk during this pandemic. Nearly a million homes scattered across almost all counties don’t have complete kitchens, raising the risk of hunger and vulnerability to illness, even as people have been expected to eat all meals

Read More

Readers And Tweeters Stay At Home And Stay In Touch With KHN

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.


A Time For Comfort

Thank you for your thoughtful piece on palliative care, “Shortfall Of Comfort Care Signals Undue Suffering For Coronavirus Patients” (March 26). The new stimulus package passed by Congress should make it easier to access palliative care via telemedicine during this crisis. The new provisions expand Medicare’s ability to provide telemedicine and expand grant funding for evidence-based telehealth networks and technologies. These provisions will help those in underserved communities access palliative care and all telehealth services.

We must ensure that terminally ill people are not forced into a hospital setting where they are made more vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus, dying more quickly or in pain; that’s why these provisions are so crucial during this time. Terminally ill people need

Read More