In recent years, there have been private equity firms buying up different doctors’ practices and this has had a huge impact on the medical industry. Currently, some of these companies that handle medical staffing are owned by some of the richest investors throughout the world and they say that they have been suffering financially because of the coronavirus that has swept across the world.
Throughout the virus, demand for care for issues that aren’t related to the coronavirus has dropped dramatically and these staffing companies state that this has caused them to lose a lot of money. Because of this, these medical staffing companies have been cutting the pay for these doctors that are working the front lines of the crisis and it has left many feeling that they are not being treated fairly.
In addition to cutting the pay to doctors due to vanishing demand, they are also asking the government for bailout money despite the fact that these companies belong to some of the richest groups that are currently in operation. For many who are not part of these private equity firms, they worry that these bailouts would just end up being a major windfall for these investors who have demanded the slashing of pay for the medical professionals that are working for these companies.
The areas in the medical field that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic are emergency rooms as people are avoiding them as much as possible to potentially lower their chances of coming in contact with the virus.
Aside from cutting the pay directly for these professionals, medical staffing companies have also been putting others on furlough or reducing the hours that they are given. Statistics are showing that emergency room visits have dropped by around 30% across the United States. In addition to the drop in visits, the patients that are visiting for care tend to be coming in with problems that are more serious and more expensive to treat.
This information was provided by the American College of Emergency Physicians in a letter that was sent to Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. In this letter, they were asking the Trump Administration to give them $3.6 billion in aid. The organization stated that there will be fewer doctors available to treat the patients, something which could potentially cause even bigger problems in the fight against the surge of the coronavirus.
While there is no argument that the pandemic has led to some of these medical groups losing money, there are worries that the money that could potentially be provided in a bailout would be going more towards the pockets of executives rather than the doctors and other medical professionals that are putting their lives on the line to help others. One of the companies that are asking for money in this bailout has been in the spotlight for questionable business practices that include billing patients for out-of-network care that is received at medical facilities such as emergency rooms that are supposed to be covered in their network.
They have been able to profit from this practice and it has caused a significant amount of public backlash and it has been investigated by lawmakers. In addition to upsetting individual patients, the actions of these companies are also at odds with insurance companies who are not happy with the amounts that they are trying to bill for these services. Medical staff such as nurses and doctors are all hoping that these issues straighten out after the pandemic and that they can go back to making a fair amount