To say the Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on our way of life would be a gross understatement. From forced social distancing to millions of Americans without jobs, the crisis has altered just about everyone’s reality. Small businesses and multi-million-dollar companies alike are suffering the financial consequences. But what about the business of health care? Are hospitals faring better or worse, and will some be forced to close their doors forever as at least one doctor suggests?
“I think we’re going to have hospitals shut down and potentially never open their doors again,” said Dr. Scott Jensen, a Republican senator from Minnesota. While politicians and health officials say the numbers of COVID-19 infected people and deaths caused by the virus are not inflated, the doctor disagrees and claims there is a financial motive to list deaths as a result of the Coronavirus, especially for bigger hospitals.
He said the big metropolitan health care systems may be getting impressive chunks of money from the federal government, but “your outer ring hospitals” and those “that are not critical access … they’re at risk.” As an example, Jensen said if he admits a patient to the hospital that has Medicare for just “routine pneumonia” the hospital will receive a lump sum payment for $4,600. But, if he admitted the same patient and added COVID-19 to the diagnosis then the DRG (diagnosis-related group) – a patient classification system that decides payments hospitals will receive for diagnosis – will result in a $13,000 payment. If a ventilator is used on the infected person, it jumps to $39,000.
The smaller, outlying hospitals that are not considered a critical care facility will likely not get those patients and therefore will not receive the “inflated” payments, according to the doctor. Speaking about just his state, Jensen said there are smaller facilities that are laying off nurses – when nurses elsewhere are working overtime. He suggested there will be ventilators that will never be used stored at these smaller health care places as well.
The senator relates that last week he received a seven-page document instructing him to list Coronavirus as a cause of death even if the patient had not been diagnosed with it yet. “… if I had an 86-year-old patient that had pneumonia but was never tested for COVID-19 but some time after she came down with pneumonia we learned that she had been exposed to her son who had no symptoms but later on was identified with COVID-19, then it would be appropriate to diagnose on the death certificate COVID-19,” he said of the instructions in an interview on The Ingraham Angle.
Are the numbers of infected and dead being skewed, intentionally or otherwise? Liberty Nation’s Onar Am suggests we look at the facts with a considering eye. “Each day, new figures from countries and states around the world show a startling increase in Coronavirus deaths,” he said. “Reader beware: There is a difference between dying with an illness and dying of it, and complete, accurate reporting – conspicuously missing from the current media mess – is crucial.”
Read more from Kelli Ballard.
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