The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on just about every aspect of our lives. This includes the healthcare system. Obviously, this has created a medical crisis that is unprecedented. Even though there is good news coming out in the form of vaccinations, the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the healthcare system may prove to have lasting impacts. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at some of the inadequacies of the healthcare system that have been highlighted and what this means for the future.
The Overall Cost of Personal Protective Equipment
One of the original issues that was highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic was that many hospitals were suffering from a shortage of personal protective equipment. Furthermore, industry specialists were not able to rapidly produce personal protective equipment to meet the needs of hospital employees. Whether someone was coming to get comfortable scrubs to reflect their personality or jogger scrubs to reflect their lifestyle or simply trying to get their hands on gloves, gowns, and masks, there were a lot of concerns that hospitals were going to end up running out of this type of equipment.
Therefore, changes have to be made to address the shortage of personal protective equipment and how long it took hospitals to replace it. Because there was not a lot of personal protective equipment available, healthcare systems were being gouged for PPE. Furthermore, they were often competing against each other, driving up the price of PPE further. This is one of the major issues that has to change in the future.
The Amount of Charity Care Hospitals Are Providing
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of deaths. Even though many people do not like to think about the financial burden that hospitals are facing, the reality is that a lot of people who are ending up in the hospital for the coronavirus pandemic might not have appropriate insurance coverage. Because hospitals cannot deny them care, they end up providing a significant amount of charity care. Even though this may sound like healthcare is free, it is not. Hospitals have to find a way to keep the lights on and they do this by charging other people more money. All of this equates to a healthcare system that is only getting more expensive. Therefore, something has to be done to make sure that everyone is appropriately covered when they arrive at the hospital for an emergency such as a COVID-19 infection.
The Lack of Bed Space at Hospitals
Finally, another major financial issue that many hospitals have to deal with involves the lack of bed space. Unfortunately, a lot of hospitals were running out of ICU beds and floor beds. As a result, they were forced to find ways to put patients somewhere else. There is no way that the quality of care that healthcare professionals provide to someone in the hallway is the same as it is in an individual bed. Therefore, this could lead to a higher bounce back rate, which hospitals might not get paid for. This is just another way that hospitals’ bottom lines are suffering.
Addressing the Future of the Healthcare System
These are just a few of the biggest issues that have been highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic. It will be interesting to see how the healthcare system conducts a review of the pandemic from start to finish. Hopefully, they will be able to make some changes to improve the quality of the care they provide in the future and make themselves more financially stable.