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Monday, May 18, 2020
May 18, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:39 PM :: 757 Views

McDermott: Reopen With 100% COVID Testing for Arrivals

Is the State Corona Plan Secret?

Billionaire Outlines Plan to Make Hawaii Residents Go Carless

COVID Fear Keeps Patients Away from Hospital Until Its Too Late

HTH: … Dan Brinkman, East Hawaii Regional CEO, Hawaii Health Systems Corp., said Hilo Medical Center averaged between 4,000 and 4,200 visits a month prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders issued by Gov. David Ige.

The hospital is now averaging between 2,800 and 3,000 visits, a 38% to 40% percent decline….

Brinkman said he’s concerned some patients are following the stay-at-home order to their detriment and seeking care after waiting far too long to do so.

“We’re seeing less overall patients in the ER. However, of the patients that we see, we’re admitting a higher percentage of them because they’re sicker.”

Brinkman said there’s been an increase in the number of patients admitted from the emergency room — up from about 12% to 17%-18%

“It’s a phenomenon that’s happening across the country,” said Brinkman. “Patients are sicker, waiting perhaps a bit long for their care….

Brinkman said the hospital is projecting a $26 million drop in revenue through the end of the calendar year….

Elsewhere in Hilo, declining patient counts are having a similar impact.

“As far as the numbers are concerned, we’re probably down about 60% of the patient load we normally see,” said Brenda Dunne, director of operations at Hilo Urgent Care….

At Kona Community Hospital, a part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., emergency room visits are down as well.

Chief Financial Officer Dean Herzog said the hospital’s emergency room had about 65 visits per day before stay-at-home orders were implemented but now have about 30.

Admissions also decreased from about 300 per month to about 200, and demand for all services is down by about 33%, he said….

ER visits to Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea have decreased between 20% and 30%, spokeswoman Lynn Scully said….

Scully said people should not delay care for heart attacks, strokes, falls or other urgent needs….

Big Q: Amid the coronavirus shutdown and job losses, what is your health insurance situation?

PBN: HMSA reports a net loss of more than $17M in Q1

read … Fewer patients, less revenue: COVID-19 crisis suppresses visits to Big Isle hospitals, clinics

Hawaii Medicaid Applications Soar Amid Widespread Job Losses

CB: … Health experts say the uninsured rate is likely to rise in tandem with Hawaii’s unemployment rate, which has already reached record levels. While Hawaii’s uninsured rate was just 4.1% in 2018, one of the lowest rates in the nation, the uninsured rate for people without jobs was 18.7%.

Already, applications to Med-QUEST — the state’s version of Medicaid, the public health insurance program for people with low incomes — have spiked 40%, with more than 21,000 applying since early March….

read … Hawaii Medicaid Applications Soar Amid Widespread Job Losses

Rep Creagan: We Need More Testing

CB: … With the expanded availability of quick tests we will soon be able to screen everyone coming into our state….

DW: ‘They’re Making This Stuff Up As They Go Along’: Airline CEO Rips ‘Idiotic’ Air Travel Plans

read … How To Make Hawaii A COVID-Free State

Schatz calls for more testing at Hawaii nursing homes

KITV: … "To date, Hawai'i has avoided any COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and I understand that health officials are coordinating with long-term care facilities to prepare for infections and prevent outbreaks. However, additional steps, including dramatically expanded testing, are necessary to continue to protect these vulnerable residents and the workers of these facilities," Schatz wrote in a letter sent Ige this week….

Related: CMS: Nursing Homes Should Screen for COVID 

read … Schatz calls for more protection at Hawaii nursing homes

Churches prepare strategy to open as state starts to re-open

KHON: … King’s Chapel Oahu says it has a large parking lot and it’s one of the certified drive-though food distributors for the Hawaii Food Bank. The church also has the capability to air their services over the radio.

“Of course we will park them quite a few distances away from each other,” said Pastor Joshua Marocco of King’s Chapel Oahu. “We are feeling like we need to take advantage of this moment. There’s a lot of people in this current moment, they are in isolation. They need to get out. They need to be a part of a particular experience.”….

read … Churches prepare strategy to open as state starts to re-open

Sex assault lawsuit filed against former federal prison guard

HNN: … The suit was filed by a female inmate and a former prisoner who alleged that an adult corrections officer, or ACO, would enter their cell and demand sex and oral sex from them — even if other inmates were watching.

“There was a certain arrogance to it because he felt so comfortable doing this in front of other inmates," said attorney Myles Breiner, who represents both women.

“This wasn’t simply touching, which in an of itself is a federal and state crime. This individual took the time to repeatedly have sexual contact with one or both of these women.”

The ACO has not been charged, but Breiner said the man no longer works at the Federal Detention Center.

Breiner said in 2018, he brought the women’s complaint to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office, which began a criminal investigation.

But even after another witness came forward and DNA evidence was found, the feds declined to prosecute, Breiner said….

read … Sex assault lawsuit filed against former federal prison guard

Honolulu Spared From Paying A Hefty Price For Lack Of Trash

CB: … Despite earlier concerns, the city will probably avoid paying financial penalties for its shortage of trash to send to a power plant during the COVID-19 crisis.

It turns out there are so-called “force majeure” clauses in Honolulu’s waste-to-energy deals with Hawaiian Electric and Covanta Honolulu Resource Recovery Venture, which runs the H-Power plant in West Oahu.

The clauses cover extreme and unforeseen events, and they protect the city from the penalties it normally faces when it doesn’t send sufficient trash to H-Power for HECO and Covanta to use.

Such force majeure clauses are coming more into play during the global pandemic, which has severely disrupted supply chains and the economy….

CB: Where in the World Do We Send Our Recycling (when it could be turned into electricity at H-Power)?

read … Honolulu Spared From Paying A Hefty Price For Lack Of Trash

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