January 17 Assignment — Covid-19 Subsidies
Post a link to your published letter in the comments
This is a post related to the January 17 assignment. Post a link to your published letter in the comments.
Even if your letter isn’t published, post the text in the comments and we can give you feedback to help you with the next assignment.
submitted the following to the Atlanta AJC -- waiting for a response (do the papers reply to advise they will be publishing, or do we just need to follow the paper to find out?) -- comments and feedback welcome (also, should we have any coordination about who is submitting where, eg would it seem funny if the AJC received similar letters at the same time?):
Letter to editor at AJC –
Let our hospitals lead the way out of this COVID-19 Pandemic by removing out-dated financial incentives of federal bureaucrats.
In the Pandemic’s early days when we were in the haze of battle, our health care industry fought hard to provide a uniform standard of care, and this included certain additional payments for treating COVID patients. Sometimes this provided an incentive to classify patients with COVID when in fact their reason for seeking health care was not COVID.
As we move through this Pandemic and begin nearing the Endemic stage, we must adjust our financial systems back to pre-COVID, so our hospitals and medical providers may once again treat patients with measures best suited to their care and not encouraged by any financial payments. Going further, our health care system should be incentivized most of all to parallel the outcomes of their patients, rewarding those who achieve the best outcomes.
Tom A., Roswell
Here is what I submitted to Cincinnati Enquirer (100 word limit):
During the height of the pandemic, a bold, simple policy for hospital reimbursement was necessary. But with a majority now vaccinated, and the milder Omicron variant now dominant, state and federal hospital subsidies for Covid-19 treatment should be at least partially tied to patient outcomes. Hospitals deserve to be paid more for better outcomes and always paid the most if the patient lives. Conversely, there should never be a higher payout if the patient dies. Serious cases do require more work, but that doesn’t justify poorly conceived incentives. One option: revert to the reimbursement policies already in place for influenza.