Alabama Doctor Worried Spike in COVID Cases Will Force Hospitals to Close Before Next Wave

Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, is urging state lawmakers to prioritize funding for hospitals. Without it, he warns, the financial strain of the pandemic could force some of them to close.

© Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, worried that financial strains on hospitals that were brought on by the pandemic will force some to close if legislators don’t prioritize funds. A registered nurse attends a patient with COVID-19 at the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California on September 2.

Alabama lawmakers are set to meet next week for a special session to debate the construction of new prisons, which would use $400 million of Alabama’s $2.2 billion in federal COVID aid. Williamson is pushing for at least $200 million of that to be used for hospitals in the state because increased staffing needs and the pause on elective procedures has caused a significant loss in revenue.

Williamson estimated that about 80 percent of the state’s hospitals were losing revenue during an interview with the Alabama Political Reporter published Monday. With “hundreds of millions of dollars” lost, the former Alabama state health officer is worried some hospitals won’t be able to recover and will have to close.

“What I’m worried about is when we get through this spike we’ll have hospitals that spent all of their reserves to get through this spike, then we end up losing the hospitals from the system before we get to another spike,” he told the Alabama Political Reporter. “We need dollars now to help address the crisis we’re in now.”

Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and has experienced a massive surge in cases. Although the state is seeing a downward trend in hospitalizations, the current wave of infections is still straining hospital resources, and available ICU beds continue to fall short of patient needs.

“We still have more patients requiring critical care than critical beds,” Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama’s state health officer, said on Friday. “It’s better than it’s been, but it still means we don’t have any available ICU beds in Alabama. It’s a problem for people with non-COVID illnesses.”

Spikes in COVID-19 patients mean hospitals have fewer resources for non-COVID patients and a hospital recently had to call 43 hospitals in three different states to find a bed for a man suffering from a cardiac event. To help free up resources, many hospitals have put a pause on elective procedures, a decision that could help with the physical strain on systems, but adds to the financial one.

Williamson said the loss of elective inpatient and outpatient procedures contributes to the lost revenue hospitals face. Some have also had to hire travel nurses to help alleviate some of the burden on hospital staff. Travel nurses often have higher wages than nurses who work for a single health-care system.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some hospital administrators to find themselves with a budget deficit going into the next fiscal year for the first time in their careers, Williamson told Alabama Political Reporter. He noted it’s not just small rural hospitals who are feeling the strain, but some larger ones, as well.

Alabama’s hospitals faced financial difficulties before the pandemic, and Williamson estimated that about a dozen rural hospitals were in jeopardy. That’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic and Williamson said if rural hospitals close, some urban hospitals would “collapse” because they’d have even more patients to manage.

Williamson told the Alabama Political Reporter that his goal isn’t to divert money away from the new prisons, but just to call attention to the health-care crisis Alabama faces. He said the hospitals’ financial problems can’t wait until legislators are back for a regular session and need to be a priority for the upcoming special session.

Newsweek reached out to Williamson for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Related Articles

  • Alabama Doctors Concerned About Biden Admin Limiting Monoclonal Antibody Treatments
  • Monoclonal Antibodies, Vaccines Both Help Save Lives—One Costs 52 Times More
  • Georgia County to Add Morgue Space Following ‘Significant’ Rise in COVID Deaths
  • Alabama Man Dies of Heart Failure After 43 Hospitals With Full ICUs Turn Him Away

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Here's Why Eating More Dairy May Be Good For Your Heart, Not Bad

In recent years, health-conscious adults have turned away from dairy products, especially milk, opting instead for more plant-based alternatives. Yet, despite milk’s downward trend, yogurt and cheese remain household favorites. ... Read more »

David Johnson shares most difficult part about trade from Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals changed the trajectory of their franchise by trading away running back David Johnson in 2020. Now Johnson is sharing what the most difficult part about getting traded ... Read more »

Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump

Two super PACs released an ad campaign that criticizing Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance for past comments he made about former President Trump. © The Hill Super PACs release ... Read more »

Hurricane Rick forecast to reach major strength ahead of landfall in Mexico

Hurricane Rick, which intensified overnight Friday from a tropical storm, is forecast to grow to major hurricane strength upon its expected landfall on Mexico’s southwestern Pacific coast, according to the National ... Read more »

Max Verstappen pips Lewis Hamilton to claim US F1 GP pole in Austin

A tense scrap from the start is in store on Sunday in Texas after Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton qualified first and second for the US Grand Prix. © Provided ... Read more »

Ohio's new license plate got the Wright Bros' plane backward on design

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The Buckeye State became the cockeyed state after botching the design of the iconic Wright Brothers plane while rolling out its new license ... Read more »

'Bringing Up Bates' Star Nathan Is Married to Esther Keyes

© Provided by US Weekly Bringing Up Bates’ Nathan Bates Is Married to Esther Keyes When you know, you know! Nathan Bates and Esther Keyes tied the knot on Saturday, ... Read more »

Ty Gibbs beats out Austin Cindric for win in Xfinity Kansas playoff race

© Sean Gardner Getty Images Ty Gibbs beats out Austin Cindric for win in Xfinity Kansas playoff race Another race, another win taken away from NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff drivers. ... Read more »

UFC 270 fight card: Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane, Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo 3 set to headline

After it was previously rumored that Francis Ngannou would defend his heavyweight championship against interim titleholder Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 on Jan. 22, the promotion confirmed the event during ... Read more »

10 Of The Best Dog Birthday Cards For The Dog Lovers In Your Life

© Zazzle We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, ... Read more »

Illinois outlasts Penn State in record-breaking nine overtime win

Illinois finally finished the game that would never end.  It took 60 minutes of regulation, two overtime periods starting at the 25-yard line, and seven periods made up of two-point ... Read more »

The 20 Favorite Tax Havens of the Very Wealthy

Companies and wealthy individuals can legally keep money in tax havens, while avoiding higher taxes at home. And some tax havens are more popular than others. © Mike Coppola/Getty Images ... Read more »

Frank Vogel: Fans, media are overreacting to Lakers' 0-2 start

Lakers coach Frank Vogel believes fans and the media are overreacting to an 0-2 start, writes Bill Oram of The Athletic. Friday night was particularly bad for L.A. as the ... Read more »

Tanguy Ndombele's Tottenham career rescued by Daniel Levy's soft touch

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Daniel Levy isn’t usually lauded for his emotional intelligence yet if Spurs are seeing the best of Tanguy Ndombele now, it may well ... Read more »

'Rust' director Joel Souza says he's 'gutted' by the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins

© (Jim Spellman / Getty Images) “Rust” director Joel Souza broke his silence after death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. (Jim Spellman / Getty Images) “Rust” director Joel Souza has broken ... Read more »

GoFundMe for 'Rust' Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' Family Tops $120K in First 24 Hours

A fundraiser for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ family raised over $120,000 within 24 hours after its launch. © Local 600 GoFundMe page Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (above) was fatally shot by a ... Read more »

Razor blades and weed edibles: Behind the enduring Halloween "candy poisoning" urban legends

© Provided by Salon Boy in skeleton costume holding bowl full of candies Boy in skeleton costume holding bowl full of candies Getty Images/mediaphotos In the summer of 1998, food ... Read more »

“She Is The Best” – Sapra Pays Tribute To Women In New Single

[vc_row][vc_column][vcex_image align=”center” width=”90%” img_size=”full” overlay_style=”” image_id=”5228″ link=”|||” css=”.vc_custom_1634924760666{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 20px !important;}” main_notice=””][vcex_heading text=”“She is the Best” – Sapra Pays Tribute To Women And The Power of Positivity In New ... Read more »

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's daughter has died

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – The daughter of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has died. © Provided by WOIO Cleveland WOIO Janese Jackson passed away recently, two sources confirmed to 19 News ... Read more »

Rony Seikaly Previews Upcoming Album Moonwalk At Sound Nightclub

[vc_row][vc_column][vcex_image lightbox=”true” align=”center” width=”90%” img_size=”full” overlay_style=”” image_id=”5208″ css=”.vc_custom_1634756026879{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 20px !important;}” lightbox_title=”Burna Boy At Hollywood Bowl – Photo Credit @BurnaBoyVoice On Twitter”][vcex_heading text=”Rony Seikaly Previews Upcoming Album Moonwalk At ... Read more »

Preliminary results: Indiana marching bands advance to Bands of America finals

Indiana high school marching bands participated in the Super Regional Champ of Music for All’s Bands of America competition this weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium. The top 14 scoring bands move ... Read more »

Manchester United vs. Liverpool: Time, TV, streaming, betting odds for Premier League match

There’s nothing like a Premier League rivalry match with massive stakes. That’s what fans will be treated to when Manchester United hosts Liverpool on Matchday 9 of the English Premier ... Read more »

Patriots put Jonathan Jones on injured reserve

© Provided by NBC Sports The Patriots ruled cornerback Jonathan Jones out for Week Seven on Friday and they ruled him out of at least two more games on Saturday. ... Read more »

What do you get in Treasure Packs in Apex Legends?

When you get into an Apex Legends match, your first instinct after hitting the ground will be to look for weapons and supplies. Though you’ll probably be expecting your weapons of choice ... Read more »

FIFA 22: How to complete UEL Road to the Knockouts Matteo Politano SBC – Requirements and solutions

With EA Sports celebrating the ongoing European club competitions over the past few weeks, we’ve received several new live cards in the form of Road to the Knockouts players. On ... Read more »

Ty Gibbs wins Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Ty Gibbs passed passed Austin Cindric for the lead with 11 laps left to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway. © Provided by NBC ... Read more »

Union asks Biden to delay vaccine mandates over supply chain issues

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo President Joe Biden‘s plan to vaccinate the country could take a big hit after a major distribution executive called on him to delay ... Read more »

Vowing loyalty to Trump, 'America First' groups try to bring nativism into the mainstream

MESA, Ariz. – An hour into the rally, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is standing in front of the podium, microphone in hand, sways back and forth as she tears into political ... Read more »

Panthers officially sign Ameer Abdullah, promote two wideouts from practice squad

© Provided by NBC Sports Running back Ameer Abdullah played against the Panthers last week and he could be in their lineup for Sunday’s game against the Giants. The Panthers ... Read more »

Officials nullify Iowa State TD with horrible taunting penalty

What in the world was the officiating crew in Ames thinking on this play? Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson scored a 51-yard TD in the the third quarter of ISU’s game ... Read more »

Pete Carroll: Alex Collins ready to play, “I'll be surprised” if Darrell Taylor doesn't play

© Provided by NBC Sports The Seahawks listed running back Alex Collins and defensive end Darrell Taylor as questionable for Monday night’s game against the Saints, but head coach Pete ... Read more »

10K sequoia trees require removal in California following wildfires

The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced Friday there are around 10,000 sequoia trees that will need to be removed from the area in California. © Getty Images Kern ... Read more »

Virginia university blocks College Republicans from campaigning for Glenn Youngkin

Washington and Lee University told its College Republicans club that it could not campaign for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin just days before Virginians head to the polls. © Provided by ... Read more »

Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb fined $10,300 for wave after game-winning TD against Patriots

The NFL hit Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with a $10,300 fine on Saturday for his wave after scoring their game-winning touchdown in overtime last week against the New ... Read more »

NFL player props: Revenge is a dish best served Nuk'd

Divisional and awards races are beginning to take shape as we enter Week 7 of the NFL season. Can the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Ravens to take first place in ... Read more »

Cristiano Ronaldo gives backing to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 'We have to take responsibility'

Cristiano Ronaldo has added his support to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by insisting Manchester United players should take responsibility for their recent poor results. © Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo gives backing ... Read more »

Patrick Kane's availability in doubt after he and 2 other Blackhawks players enter COVID-19 protocol

CHICAGO — Patrick Kane and two other Chicago Blackhawks players missed practice Saturday after entering the COVID-19 protocol. © John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS The Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane handles the ... Read more »

First Half Takeaways: Ducks overcome another slow start to trail UCLA 17-14 at half

The Oregon Ducks were playing the same old tune in the first quarter of their game against the UCLA Bruins on Saturday. © Provided by Ducks Wire In any other ... Read more »

Second Half Thread: Dye Helps Cut Into Lead at UCLA, Bruins 17 - Ducks 14

© Photo by Harry How/Getty Images PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – The No. 10 Oregon Ducks (5-1, 2-1) trail the UCLA Bruins (5-2, 3-1) at the half, 17-14, in the Rose Bowl. ... Read more »

Dejoy: Postal Service to add 45 facilities ahead of holiday season

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that the United States Postal Service was going to add 45 extra facilities to handle more packages ahead of the holiday season, The Wall Street ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic