CommonSpirits's answer to losing money: Get bigger
Four years after being founded through a mega-merger, not-for-profit health system CommonSpirit continues to bleed money. But that’s hasn’t stopped the company from making acquisitions.
The system bought five hospitals in Utah in February at a price tag of $705 million plus $1.4 billion over 15 years to rent the property the hospitals and their affiliated clinics are located on. It also cut about 2,000 full-time equivalent positions in the quarter ending June 30.
Adding more hospitals while struggling financially is a risky move, Ge Bai, an accounting and health policy professor at Johns Hopkins University, told STAT’s Tara Bannow: “They are not doing well, despite this mega-merger, but they’re doubling down.” Read more.
Why is long Covid more prevalent among women?
Much of how Covid impacts our bodies in the long term remains a mystery. But new data released by the National Center for Health Statistics Tuesday sheds some light on who is most impacted by long Covid, defined as contending with symptoms three or more months after they first became infected with the virus.
Some 6.9% of adults in the U.S. are estimated to have ever experienced long Covid as of 2022. The results varied by race, with Hispanic people the most likely to have had long Covid.
Long Covid was most prevalent among women, 8.5% of whom had experienced the condition as of 2022, compared to 5.2% of men. The trend was echoed in pediatric cases, with 1.6% of girls ever having long Covid versus 0.9% of boys. Researchers have previously theorized that differences in immune function between men and women may lead the latter group to mount a more robust and rapid response. That could help reduce the initial infection, but potentially increase their vulnerability to prolonged autoimmune-related diseases.
Dual-eligible plans under scrutiny in Congress
A bipartisan group of senators is working on legislation to better coordinate care for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, Simar Bajaj reports for STAT.
Just around 15% of beneficiaries are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, but they account for a third of these programs’ spending — around $440 billion — and still don’t receive better health care, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) pointed out in a JAMA viewpoint published earlier this month. This is partly because most dual-eligible patients have to navigate a bifurcated health care system with two sets of benefits.
The final version of the bill is expected to be introduced into the Senate later this year, although it might take until 2025 before the bill moves forward and actually has a chance of being passed. Read more.