Friday, May 01, 2020

The Corona Virus, the Terror Fear Creates

This Corona-19 virus is killing people, but not at the rate implied by the statistics. This article in USA Today April 24th shows that:
"Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it's a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for – if they're Medicare – typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it's COVID-19 pneumonia, then it's $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000."

If the deceased patient had no health insurance normally there would be no reimbursement to the hospital. But if they can attribute it to Corona virus, they get paid. Notice you get more for Corona than Influenza. As a hospital administrator you can increase your bottom line by selecting how the person died.

New York and New Jersey are way out of specs on confirmed cases. Most states have a death rate of about 42 per million of population. New York claims 1,200 deaths per million and New Jersey claims 744 per million people at this time due to Corona Virus. 89 percent of all Corona-19 deaths are over the age of 65. We knew in December of last year that New York City had a storage problem at the morgues, they had run out of space. So, the additional refrigeration units needed for bodies was no surprise. Notice any exaggeration of the number of deaths due to the virus, tends to add to the panic and the need for public officials to do more now. And this is an election year, God help us! Here is a link to the mischief being done: NYC Funeral Homes

We have contained the virus outbreak to where it did not overwhelm the health care system. The people dying were the elderly especially in rest homes. These people were the prime consumers of health care. But now we have inadvertently shut down the regular health care system for heart attacks, strokes, cancer surgery, chemo therapy, and blood testing. People are scared to death to see a doctor especially if retired. Now we have people dying from causes other than corona virus. And the funny thing, the doctors and nurses that support these operations are being laid off.

We have a problem for the world. No work, no food. Translated: no money and you starve to death. This could kill billions. And the bad thing about starving people is, they are the Petri dish for new diseases.

Where to from here? Let’s assume that the virus has done its damage and has moved on. We need to get back to work. We could lose more elderly people to the virus, but they are the ones that we need to be more protective with. Otherwise the cure is worse than the disease. BTW I’m 73.

As a post script.

My grandmother was put in a rest home when she was 90. At the age of 96 the rest home called me and said she was dying. I went to her bedside and called emergency and they informed me that if it wasn’t a heart attack, stroke or something that they could treat, they would not be able to help her and she would not be admitted to the hospital for care. I took her off all 30 of her medications. She recovered and lived another 3 years. At that rest home, there were many people in very bad shape that had no idea of who they were or why they were there.

People do not realize that rest homes charge from $50,000 to $90,000 a year for taking care of a loved one. Usually the person makes it to the home when they can no longer take care of themselves because of dementia, lack of mobility from physical problems, or whatever. They need around the clock care. Just tripping on a rug and falling to the ground can break a hip or an arm.

On my grandmother’s 99th birthday I went to visit her at the rest home and commented with a smile, that in one more year, she would be 100. This woman, had all of her wits about her, she looked straight at me and said tersely “How would you like to be a 19 year old woman trapped in a 100 year old body.” I didn’t have an answer.


dearieme said...

I recommend this book.

I hope you stay safe from the Wuhan virus and the others swirling around.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

Thank you for the link. I wasn't kidding about the number of pills my Grandmother was taking. Before she got sick I was helping her sort them into a weekly pill box and it was insane. One a day, two a day, one at night etc. The nurses complaint when she was in the intensive care unit, that she kept throwing up her medications. I asked the doc since they said she was dying, could I take her off of her meds? and she said Okay. Grandma was up and about two days later, she still wanted the sleeping pills.

The big thing here is the cost of the meds, not sure who paid for them. I take Eliquis and it is $531 per month--my cost with insurance is $10.

Too many pills and you end up being an overmedicated lab rat.