Citing Concerns, Medical Centers Resist Being A ‘Rural Emergency Hospital’

Side Effects Public Media reports on how some overstretched rural hospitals, suffering inflation impact and staff shortages, are rebuffing the new federal Rural Emergency Hospital designation over concerns about its possible effect on in-patient services.

The New York Times:
A Rural Hospital’s Excruciating Choice: $3.2 Million A Year Or Inpatient Care?

It was 3 a.m. at the 10-bed hospital near the River of No Return, and by every measure, Ella Wenrich should have been dead. Gastrointestinal bleeding had sent her hemoglobin level — typically above 12 — down to 3.3, and she needed an enormous blood transfusion at a larger medical center. But amid a surge in Covid cases, every major facility within 400 miles refused to take her. The smallest hospital in Idaho was, once again, on its own. (Baumgaertner, 12/9)

More on rural health care —

Some Red State Hospitals Pitch Medicaid Expansion To Solve Rural Health Woes

Hospitals in some non-Medicaid expansion states are pitching expansion as a way to help solve the rural health crisis. But the industry is hardly speaking with one voice. Facilities with fewer commercially insured patients that treat a large number of uninsured people see expansion as a potential lifeline in tough economic times. (Dreher, 12/8)

On health insurance and open enrollment —

The Deadline To Sign Up For 2023 ACA Coverage Is Next Week. Here’s How To Get Help

The final day to enroll for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace is next Thursday, Dec. 15.Health care “navigators” at the University of South Florida have received thousands of calls in need of help sorting through the complexities of the market, and leaders expect those calls to increase as the deadline looms closer. (Pedersen, 12/8)

‘An Arm And A Leg’: He Made A Video About Health Insurance Terminology That Went Viral 

A 30-minute video about health insurance terminology has racked up more than a million views. Host Dan Weissmann spoke with Brian David Gilbert, the person behind the video. (Weissmann, 12/9)

In other health care industry news —

Crain’s Detroit Business:
University Of Michigan Michigan Medicine To Buy Sparrow Health

University of Michigan’s Michigan Medicine is expected to approve on Thursday a deal that will allow the university hospital to acquire the state’s seventh largest health system, Lansing-based Sparrow Health, Crain’s learned from a UM official close to the deal. Terms of the transaction were not immediately known, but it’s expected to be a member-swap agreement. (Walsh and Eggert, 12/8)

How Health Tech Companies Can Make Their Tools More Equitable

Disparities along racial and socioeconomic lines have long persisted in health care. But it’s only somewhat recently that the health care industry’s often glitzy gatherings have started grappling with health equity, as the pandemic both widened health inequities and also demonstrated the potential of technology to tackle them. (Ravindranath, 12/9)

To Attract In-Home Caregivers, California Offers Paid Training — And Self-Care

One November afternoon, Chris Espedal asked a group of caregivers — all of whom work with people who have cognitive impairments, behavioral health issues, or complex physical needs — to describe what happens when their work becomes too much to bear. The participants, 13 caregivers from all over California, who had gathered in a Zoom room, said they experienced nausea, anxiety, shortness of breath, elevated heart rates, and other telltale signs of stress. “I want to scream!” one called out. “I feel exhausted,” said another. (Udesky, 12/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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