Why Hospitals Are In Trouble

The current conventional wisdom is that they’re hurting because of the ban on “elective” procedures, but it turns out that most admissions are caused by the entertainment industry (restaurants and bars). Shut down all the purveyors of alcohol and food poisoning, and the beds are empty.

Patricia cut my hair last weekend with a Wahl electric clipper that I’d bought for ten bucks at Ross years ago, but we’d never used. She overdid it, and I look like I’m ready for boot camp, but she’d probably do better with practice and learning how to use it. I’ve heard Jesse Watters describe how his wife had learned to cook, and now I’m wondering how many of us will go back to paying other people to cut our hair and cook for us, now that we’ve figured out we can actually do it ourselves? Of course, I’ve never been a big restaurant goer, for reasons I’ve discussed several times here: the cost, and the nutrition. I’ve probably been affected by this as little as anyone.

15 thoughts on “Why Hospitals Are In Trouble”

  1. I just recently wrote this – hopefully on another site – this is reminiscent of The First Gulf War. Army casualties during the build-up and combat portions were actually lighter than they would have been had the army stayed home, with young people out partying on the weekends.

    1. Army casualties during the build-up and combat portions were actually lighter than they would have been had the army stayed home…

      Counterintuitives are always jaw-dropping. I remember explaining to a coworker that Japanese kamikaze tactics during the war actually lowered their casualty rates by 60-70%. He had a hard time wrapping his head around that.

      And the notion that lowering taxes might lead to greater overall revenue? Evidence of early Alzheimer’s.

  2. Per Wikipedia, “Each year in the United States, about 400 cases [of typhoid] are reported and the disease occurs in an estimated 6,000 people.”

  3. I went to a local barber the Friday before last and still got the high speed, low drag cut. Give them a month off and they get out of practice.

    1. Oh, and I disagree with your take, Rand. Admissions may be lower if people couldn’t go out to entertainment venues, and about the only reason to leave home, if not for work, home, or maintenance of home and body; is entertainment. Still, the highest margins for any hospital is elective surgeries.

      1. Not my take, read the article. When they say “entertainment,” they’re referring specifically to restaurants and bars, not going out and having fun in general.

        1. I read the article, but you wrote:
          “Why Hospitals Are In Trouble”
          and
          “The current conventional wisdom is that they’re hurting because of the ban on “elective” procedures, but it turns out…”

          I’m responding to you, because you did bring in the discussion on elective surgeries. That’s not in the article. Low admissions hurt a hospital, but I suspect if you asked (and the author of the article didn’t quite ask this question) if the hospital would rather have low admissions but be able to do elective procedures; they would be very happy with that situation. Very Happy.

          1. Elective surgery., Yeah.

            Anyone here have any experience or advice on hernia surgery? A “friend” found out that an asymmetrical bulge below the belt line is not flab but rather a hernia.

            My “friend” was told that since it doesn’t hurt, yet, to “monitor” it, which I guess means seeing if it levels out upon laying down — if it stops doing this, “see us right away”, otherwise, there was not much encouragement to have this repaired right now.

        2. The article is discussing hospitals in the UK. I wonder how well his assertions apply to hospitals in the US. The words “elective” and “nonessential” are used a lot but that covers a wide range of medical procedures. Some, such as cosmetic tummy tucks, liposuction, and face lifts can certainly be considered nonessential and elective. A hip or knee replacement can be considered nonessential by some, but delaying those procedures means people who need them have to live with pain longer. What about cataract surgery? My wife is a retired nurse, so we know a lot of nurses and have several others in our family. A young oncology nurse we know had her work cut to three days a week during the most restrictive period of the lockdown. I certainly wouldn’t consider cancer treatments nonessential or elective, but it seems some people did. Our restrictions were lifted on May 1st and I was able to get a colonoscopy last week (fun, fun). During the lockdown, cancer screenings were delayed as were a host of other procedures. The nurse I asked at the outpatient procedure hospital said she was out of work for 6 weeks during the lockdown.

          1. An article in the local paper this weekend about local dentists unable to pay their bills had one dentist lamenting that now that they were “allowed” to re-open, they were seeing more root canals and crowns for abscesses because nobody was “allowed” to come in for a cleaning or minor filling during lockdown.

            It’s almost as if postponing “elective” preventive procedures causes more severe emergencies and lower overall health outcomes; who’da thunk it? But at least we have our betters looking out for us by keeping these “unsafe” places closed for our good.

          2. Delaying cancer screening can be a death sentence. When my wife’s cancer screen came back positive they scheduled the surgery two weeks later. When they removed the tumor they found it was twice the size it was two weeks earlier. If she would have had to wait a month to get screened she would have needed more than just surgery at the very least.
            Since they were able to remove it when the did they only had to take a couple more lymph nodes. No chemo or radiation required.
            We will never know how many people will die because of delayed screenings.

  4. >last weekend with a Wahl electric clipper<

    Self cut with #3 on the sides and #5 on top. I like the freedom of not depending on other folks for this exercise in "lawn mowing".

  5. I’ve been cutting my own hair since I began resembling a mop in March. I had electric clippers already, so that part was easy. Not easy was the back of my head. I managed to do it by connecting a digital camera via USB to a laptop, and using it as a video camera behind me, with the screen in front of me.

    The trim came out okay. Not great, but I’ve had plenty worse. Another trim last week went quicker, but about the same results.

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