Although urban hospitals have been target the hardest, federal policymakers should also consider the special needs of rural hospitals in responding to the pandemic in their communities. From serving top risk populations to struggling with limited funding, rural hospitals face very high challenges that may need extra federal action to address. To better access to and standard of care for rural communities, federal and state policymakers should consider supplying medical tool and other help as the pandemic spread to these areas.
Rural hospitals financial challenge
Rural hospitals face quick financial challenges that could hinder their capability to rightly respond to the pandemic. Many depend on outpatient and elective surgeries services for profit, which are now being canceled and postponed to free up beds and resources for COVID-19 patients.
Larger hospital systems may have the resources to face such losses, but rural hospitals face a much higher danger of closing and may not be capable to withstand these little-term losses potentially forcing many to close just need for beds is rising dramatically, leaving in danger communities with less access to care.
What policies could help rural hospitals excellent respond to the pandemic?
Both rural and urban hospital will face capacity limits as COVID-19 spreads. At the individual hospital level, administrations can implement different proof based techniques to make surge capacity, such as using a 24/7 operational system, managing patient flow, utilizing extra areas, such as conference rooms and hallways, and transferring equipment to essential units.
At the federal level, policymakers could distribute tool and aid to offer rural hospitals with the necessary equipment to change regular beds to mobile ICU beds, as is being done in some states. Army aid could also be used to build more mobile beds and facilitates and distribute equipment, such as ventilators.
Although the Federal Emergency Management agency has offered ventilators to hard-hit NYC hospitals, there has not yet been a coordinated federal distribution effort. If a federal distribution technique is implemented, policymakers should consider allocating resources to rural hospitals to better their capacity to care for seriously ill patients. State and federal resources could also be allotted for transporting hard cases to excellent equipment but more distant hospitals.
Hospital capacity everywhere is likely to become tense as COVID-19 spreads, but rural hospitals a face a mixture of special challenges that leave them financially vulnerable. Urban hospitals have so far been the strongest hit, but policymakers should consider the needs of rural hospitals and focus assistance to keep them open and equipped to serve their communities via the crisis.