Whatever your opinions are on the executive orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to close down many businesses and the guidelines from hospitals and healthcare systems across the state to postpone non-essential medical procedures, therapies, and more, the impact on patient care is devastating to our communities.
Health systems across the state are laying employees off, losing hundreds of millions of dollars, and forcing providers who are working the frontlines to take pay cuts. This is a logical financial step in normal times but as we know these are extraordinary times. While it has been reported that most hospitals are taking steps to open other departments back up and that scheduling of non-essential procedures will soon start on a limited basis, the damage is done.
While consumers are staying at home during this time, injuries still happen. You may be doing work around your house or your yard and suffer an injury like a broken leg, concussion, or internal bleeding. Auto accidents are still occurring albeit in reduced numbers, causing personal injuries. Heart attacks, strokes, and other critical care needs still are occurring. Babies are being born. These are or can be medical emergencies that need to be handled.
Plus, what is considered non-essential? Physician therapy following a stroke or back surgery? Trying to walk again after breaking a hip from a slip and fall? Most of these examples are among the therapies that are being paused.
We aren’t suggesting that social distancing isn’t critical in saving lives. But it is important that the gradual restart of healthcare services occur in a way that limits the damage to our collective health and well-being as much as possible. The financial impact of these delays will be seen in longer times of recovery, higher claims of Workers Compensation, perhaps higher out-of-pocket costs, and eventually healthcare insurance premiums. Even once this pandemic started, we are notified about injuries and accidents that happen every day. Here’s hoping that our health systems – and especially the individual front-line workers providing care – get the support from our federal and state governments to ensure that our entire population doesn’t suffer any more than we already have.
If you have suffered an injury and are wondering if another person or business may be at fault, contact us. You may be eligible for damages, especially if you have medical bills.