Planning for the spread of COVID-19 in the community is critical to maintain healthcare services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals must be prepared for the possible arrival of COVID-19 patients. This definition recognises that what constitutes "appropriate care and hospital admission criteria may change during a pandemic". Hospitals continue to experience losses from cancelled and delayed procedures, while incurring increased costs to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 and to purchase the equipment and supplies needed to ensure the health and safety of patients, providers and their families.
America's hospitals and health systems have stepped forward in an unprecedented and heroic way to address the challenges of COVID-19.To do so, healthcare leaders must remember that patients and their families are as much in need of actionable information as hospital staff. As outbreaks occur across the country infecting more than one million people, hospitals have intensified testing efforts and are treating hundreds of thousands of Americans in an effort to save lives and minimise the spread of the virus. Under the federal government's Hospital Preparedness Program, each state has already developed guidance on immediate bed availability and disaster response toolkits; Michigan's is available here. Cost estimates for COVID-19 hospitalisations were used to estimate the costs of treating hospital workers infected with COVID-19 and cost estimates for laboratory testing were used for the total cost of screening hospital workers for COVID-19 were aggregated to generate the total estimate of the cost incurred by hospitals in providing these support services.
One unintended consequence of the crisis that may serve as an opportunity, according to Kaplan, could be for large, well-capitalised health systems to partner with or acquire community hospitals, which are already grappling with razor-thin operating margins. These challenges have created historic financial pressures for US hospitals and health systems. Hospitals and health systems must develop agile ways to convey timely and critical information in times of crisis. We found that inpatient and ICU bed capacity to handle expected patient volumes varied significantly by hospital referral region (see Figures 1 and 2).
In terms of transportation services, we estimated that 21.3 e hospital workers in hotspot hospitals commuted by public transportation, based on American Community Survey data, and multiplied by the average daily cost of public transportation estimated by the Office of Transportation Services. Americans have a very favourable view of hospitals and support additional financial support in a new Coalition public opinion poll.