Economics

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October 2020
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Editorial

Surveys this past year seem to have proliferated, many of them related to the COVID-19 pandemic. What has worked? What hasn’t? What are the next steps? Resuming surgical procedures after the springtime hiatus has helped regain some lost ground. Even as cases of the virus surged in many parts of…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
October 21, 2020
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Think 'outside the blocks' to shore up balance sheets

Editor’s Note: This article from Whitman Partners addresses some ways OR nurse leaders can help their health systems recover from the financial fallout and disruption in normal processes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitman Partners is a Portland, Oregon-based specialty search firm dedicated to placing directors of surgical services at…

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By: Carisa Brewster
October 21, 2020
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Increased unemployment linked to increased pediatric hospitalizations

Editor's Note This study by researchers from Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, and others found that for four economy-sensitive conditions, increased unemployment was associated with increased pediatric hospitalizations. A 1% increase in unemployment was associated with a: 5% increase in hospitalization for substance abuse 4% increase for diabetes 2%…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 13, 2020
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WHO warns against COVID-19 lockdowns

Editor's Note David Nabarro, MD, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) special envoy on COVID-19 in a video interview on October 10 urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns as their primary COVID-19 control method. He added that WHO believes the only time a lockdown is justified is to buy time…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 13, 2020
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Healthcare employment up in September

Editor's Note US healthcare added 52,800 jobs in September for a seasonally adjusted 15, 839,600, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on October 2. Hospitals lost 6,400 jobs, but nursing and residential care facilities added 1,600 jobs. Ambulatory healthcare services also added jobs, including physicians (18,200), dentists (3,900), and home…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 5, 2020
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ASCs reduce Medicare costs $4 billion annually

Editor's Note A new analysis of Medicare payment data by KNG Health Consulting shows that ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) reduced Medicare costs by $28.7 billion from 2011 to 2018, a savings of more than $4 billion each year. The analysis also shows that, without policy changes, performing procedures on Medicare…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 29, 2020
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Study: Who should receive COVID-19 vaccine first?

Editor's Note This study, led by economists from Washington University in St Louis, finds that the ideal COVID-19 vaccine policy should emphasize age more than work-exposure risk for vaccination priority. To provide a best-practice scenario to supplement a vaccine distribution strategy, the researchers tracked eight age groups in more than…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 31, 2020
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ASC staffing and surgical volume drop in response to pandemic

Nearly a third (30%) of ambulatory surgery center (ASC) leaders have experienced layoffs of direct care staff during the past year, according to the 2020 annual OR Manager Salary/Career Survey, up from a mere 4% in 2019. COVID-19 is the likely culprit: Most of the comments received in response to…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
August 21, 2020
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New AHA analysis examines effect of COVID-19 on hospital margins

Editor's Note A new analysis prepared for the American Hospital Association (AHA) by Kaufman, Hall & Associates LLC examines COVID-19’s financial effects on hospitals and healthcare systems. The analysis, released July 21, finds that without further government support, hospital margins in the second half of 2020 could fall to -7%,…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 22, 2020
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Editorial

Healthcare facilities in recent months have been catching up on case backlogs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But new infection surges in several states have overwhelmed some hospitals, leading to renewed bans on elective procedures in Texas and Florida as of early July. The higher rates of infection are attributable…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
July 22, 2020
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