Doctors and nurses are fighting the biggest health crisis in a century. So why are health care workers in some hospitals being laid off? We’ll talk about what the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing about running hospitals as a business.
Dr. Vivian Lee, president of health platforms at Verily Life Sciences, a digital health care company. Senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Author of "The Long Fix: Solving America's Health Care Crisis with Strategies that Work for Everyone," out next month. (@vivianleemd)
Marie Ritacco, registered nurse in the post-anesthesia care unit at Saint Vincent Hospital. Vice president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. (@MassNurses)
From The Reading List
New York Times: "During a Pandemic, an Unanticipated Problem: Out-of-Work Health Workers" — "As hospitals across the country brace for an onslaught of coronavirus patients, doctors, nurses and other health care workers — even in emerging hot spots — are being furloughed, reassigned or told they must take pay cuts."
Washington Post: "Cash-starved hospitals and doctor groups cut staff amid pandemic" — "Hospitals across the country have deferred or canceled non-urgent surgeries to free up bed space and equipment for covid-19 patients. But that triage maneuver cut off a main source of income, causing huge losses that have forced some hospitals to let go of health-care workers as they struggle to treat infected patients."
Kaiser Health News: "For Hospitals, Prestige Leads To Profits" — "When it comes to hospitals, which benefit most from high health care prices? It may sound counter-intuitive, but a group of not-for-profit hospitals appear to be among those doing the best business."
New York Times: "Why Are Nonprofit Hospitals So Highly Profitable?" — "'So, how much money do you guys make if I do that test you’re ordering for me?' This is a question I hear frequently from my patients, and it’s often followed by some variant of, 'I thought hospitals were supposed to be nonprofit.'"
This program aired on April 20, 2020.