COVID-19 News: Updates From The Trenches

With news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) shifting almost daily, it’s hard to keep track of what’s worth following. Clinical, operational and technical information is pouring in at an unprecedented rate.

Here at Healthcare IT Today, we’d like to help. In this item, we’ve provided some updates on the evolving coronavirus landscape, including a look at hospital finances, details on a program tracking COVID-19 across the patient ride programs across the US the impact of a remote monitoring effort tracking pregnancies remotely.


Hospitals Face Potentially Huge COVID-19 Financial Losses

A group of researchers has concluded that hospitals will face “massive” losses resulting from COVID-19, even with the bump up in federal reimbursement and other CARES Act funding.

The news comes from data scientists from Strata Decision Technology, who developed a study intended to evaluate the financial impact COVID-19 is having on U.S. hospitals and health systems.

To evaluate the financial impact of COVID-19 on U.S. hospitals and health systems, the data scientists used a proxy group of related patient cases to model the effect on a representative sample of health systems across the U.S.

The group’s analysis found that if payers don’t raise the reimbursement premium on COVID-19 patient cases, the worst-case scenario will result in 97% of health systems losing an average of $2,800 per case. Many will face losses of between $8,000 and $10,000.

Meanwhile, with the 20% increase in Medicare reimbursement for COVID-19 cases created by the stimulus bill from Congress, hospitals are still looking at roughly $1,200 per case and up to $6,000 and $8,000 per case depending on their payer mix.

Ride Service Designs Program Helping Reduce COVID-19 Spread

Patient transportation service Ride Health has developed a program helping limit the exposure of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) providers and ride-hail drivers to patients exposed to COVID-19. It’s also designed to protect the safety of passengers who need to travel for in-person treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

The process starts when care managers in hospitals and health plans to set up patient rides and monitor them in real time. Using geospatial tracking and detailed capture, Ride Health can pick out vehicles and drivers that individual patients use to travel to or from any healthcare facility using its solution.

The vendor is then able to notify transportation providers nationally whenever one of the patients they serve has been exposed to an individual who has tested positive.

Pregnancy Monitoring Vendor Reduces COVID Exposure By Reducing Prenatal Visits

A remote patient monitoring vendor focused on pregnancy tracking is helping obstetric providers cut down on in-person visits and avoid COVID-19 exposure by monitoring patients remotely.

Babyscripts, a virtual care platform for obstetrics, allows obstetricians to cut back prenatal visits scheduled for low-risk patients to 4 to 6 appoints through term at 37 weeks, then weekly thereafter. This represents a large decrease in prenatal care visits, which usually fall between 12 – 14 encounters.

The obstetricians are able to cut back on face-to-face visits with expecting mothers by tracking their pregnancy remotely using the Babyscripts monitoring platform.


About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.