CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new state plan is in place to help handle a “crisis” situation with hospitals and long-term care facilities that could lead to rationing health care.
“We have to move and move right now,” Gov. Jim Justice said Monday during his pandemic briefing. “The bottom line is, our hospitals are on the verge of being overrun. We could wake up to a situation where we are basically rationing care … we are at a crisis.”
Justice said a program called “Save Our Care” is now in place to reimburse hospitals and long-term care facilities if they need to move staff around and delay elective surgeries or hire temporary staff.
Ending elective surgeries can “destroy” the economics of a hospital, he said, and a task force is being set in place to review reimbursements.
Justice said staffing is the “number one problem.”
Although the peak of new active COVID cases may be close, hospitalizations and the number of people in ICUs and on ventilators will continue to increase, he said. On Monday, 961 were hospitalized, 287 in ICUs and 160 on ventilators, all well past the previous highs during the January surge…