South Florida Hospital News
Saturday November 28, 2020
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November 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 5
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While the initial tidal wave of COVID-19 has begun to recede, the effects of the pandemic are still rippling through the U.S. healthcare landscape. Initial CARES Act relief funds helped stave off financial instability for many facilities, but uncertainty over the potential of future relief, consumer confidence, lack of regulation surrounding telehealth reimbursement and market volatility continue to plague healthcare facilities financially.

There is some good news in the insurance world; for the fifth year in a row, workers’ compensation rates are going down. What still remains to be seen, however, is how COVID-19, and the commensurate claims that come from healthcare workers, first responders and others will affect those rates in the long term.

The World Health Organization declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and it is difficult to imagine a more appropriate designation. Without a doubt, COVID-19 has brought the nursing profession into the spotlight and shown the work nurses perform every day caring for their patients is absolutely essential to society.

Every year the ACHE publishes the results of a study they conduct that identifies the “Top Issues Confronting Hospitals.” This study surveys hospital CEOs who are asked to rank 11 issues affecting their hospitals in order of priority. For most of my career as a healthcare executive and hospital CEO, the issue of “physician-hospital relations” always found its way to be a top three issue. 

Miami Dade College (MDC) Medical Campus has been hard at work since June 1st working with students on campus. We had almost 10,000 students working on laboratory and simulation instruction in our Health Science programs in June and July.

The students, alumni, faculty, supporters, and staff in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Miami Herbert Business School have shown remarkable resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Miami successfully navigated reopening campus through strict adherence to public health practices

South University recently launched an online Contact Tracing course available to the public at no cost. This training is available for those seeking employment to expand this much needed workforce, in support of public health agencies as they increase their workforce to conduct contact tracing.

As I write this in mid-October, the Florida Department of Health has recorded 306,665 cases of COVID-19 in South Florida. With no idea when the pandemic will end, whether it will return and what the long-term effects on some patients will be, health care providers continue to fortify their facilities from the virus, deliver patient care and prepare for a possible next phase.

We recognize how important it is as palliative care providers to treat the “Whole Person”. Attending to the physical and mental health of our patients while addressing social well-being and environmental factors requires the expertise of an interdisciplinary team, like ours at Catholic Palliative Care Services (CPCS). 

Dr. Sanaz Kashan is the Founding Fellowship Program Director of Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center and also serves as the Transitional Year Residency Program Director. Currently she is a Palliative Medicine Physician for Catholic Palliative Care Services. 

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