Honored Social Butterfly

Urban Hospitals of Last Resort Cling to Life in Time of COVID

While rural hospitals have been closing at a quickening pace over the past two decades, a number of inner-city hospitals now face a similar fate. And experts fear that the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic on safety-net hospitals and the ailing finances of the cities and states that subsidize them are helping push some urban hospitals over the edge.


By the nature of their mission, safety-net hospitals, wherever they are, struggle because they

  • treat a large share of patients who are uninsured — and can’t pay bills —
  • or are covered by Medicaid, whose payments don’t cover costs.
  • State-of-the-art hospitals in affluent city neighborhoods are luring more of the safety-net hospitals’ best-insured patients

These combined financial pressures have been exacerbated by the pandemic at a time their role has become more important: Their core patients — the poor and people of color — have been disproportionately stricken by COVID-19 in metropolitan regions


So far, urban hospital closures have remained infrequent compared with the cascading disappearance of their rural counterparts. But the closing of a few could portend problems at others. Even some of those that remain open may cut back crucial specialties like labor and delivery services or trauma care, forcing patients to travel farther for help when minutes can matter.


For much of the 20th century, most cities ran their own hospitals to care for the indigent. But after the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, and as the rising cost of health care became a burden for local budgets, many jurisdictions turned away from that model. Today only 498 of 5,230 general hospitals in the country are owned by governments or a public hospital district.


Now, many hospitals in low-income urban neighborhoods are run by nonprofits — often faith-based — and in some cases, for-profit corporations. In recent years owners have unloaded safety-net hospitals to entities with limited patience or resources for keeping them alive financially.


Some of the few remaining government-run hospitals are also struggling to stay open.  They may bring in outside consultants or management companies to bring in new ideas or often, cost cutting measures that don't also pan out or which are good for patient care.


Closing these type of hospitals  or even closing some of their service operations creates more healthcare inequities because of who they serve.


The figures some of our politicians are using to tout a Medicare for All scheme are already inadequate to what will be needed to keep these institutions afloat and serving.


Read all about Chicago's Urban Hospital problems -  just one city among many.

KHN 09/17/2020 - Urban Hospitals of Last Resort Cling to Life in Time of COVID 







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Honored Social Butterfly

The support article tells what is going on not why it is going on. It covers the Hospital in Phila. which closed because of greed from its previous owner, and current owner. They wanted to make money and they did by cutting services, poor service, and defied State orders.

This article does prove some things. All Hospitals should be non profit. No hospital holding Cos. allowed. Go for community owned  hospitals. Salaries of management controlled.


Last but not least accept the fact we have a govt. run health care system where everyone can get treated, then move to improve the worst part of the current system. There are experts in the USA who can get us on tract. The first step to using them is to get rid of Trump and all in office who support him.

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