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Rural hospitals in eastern Washington state face bankruptcy

The beatings will continue until morale improves: Because the state government’s panicked reaction to the Wuhan virus resulting in a banning of almost all procedures, rural hospitals in eastern Washington state now face financial collapse, bankruptcy, and possible closure.

With the state’s support, federal aid and advanced Medicare loans, the critical access hospital will be able to stay afloat – for now. But the financial impact of COVID-19 on Washington state’s rural hospitals cannot be understated. “This is unprecedented. There’s no way you could be financially prepared for this,” Jacqueline Barton True, vice president of rural health programs at the Washington State Hospital Association, said. “This sort of financial devastation is not something that we could have prepared for, and I have a lot of concerns about what happens if help doesn’t come soon enough.”

Some rural hospitals have received their first installment of funds from the federal CARES Act. Those payments are about $400,000 to $600,000 on average for smaller hospitals, according to WSHA.

Despite having a robust way for most rural hospitals to access community taxpayer support through the public hospital district model, rural hospitals in Eastern Washington are losing money on a daily basis as they balance pandemic preparations with canceled elective surgeries, primary care or patient therapy.

The article is long, outlining in frightening detail the impending collapse of the entire rural hospital network. The bottom line however remains the same: The state government arbitrarily decided that most medical procedures were “non-essential” and banned them so that the hospital would not be overwhelmed by Wuhan flu patients.

Those patients have never arrived in the feared numbers however. Instead we are looking at a normal flu season, when you combine coronavirus with flu cases. Lacking the revenue stream from all other cases, the hospitals are losing money and face bankruptcy.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • James Street

    Not only states, but counties should be allowed to open case by case. This is a list of all 39 counties in Washington state with cases and deaths of coronavirus in ascending order. 21 counties have no deaths, and most are in the rural eastern half of Washington state which is mostly farm land.

    County | Cases | Deaths
    Garfield | 0 | 0
    Columbia | 1 | 0
    Ferry | 1 | 0
    Lincoln | 2 | 0
    Pacific | 2 | 0
    Pend Oreille | 2 | 0
    Wahkiakum | 2 | 0
    Skamania | 3 | 0
    Stevens | 8 | 1
    Asotin | 12 | 0
    Grays Harbor | 12 | 0
    Whitman | 13 | 0
    Clallam | 14 | 0
    Kittitas | 14 | 0
    Okanogan | 14 | 0
    San Juan | 15 | 0
    Klickitat | 16 | 3
    Lewis | 21 | 2
    Mason | 22 | 0
    Jefferson | 28 | 0
    Walla Walla | 28 | 0
    Cowlitz | 29 | 0
    Douglas | 32 | 1
    Adams | 41 | 0
    Chelan | 71 | 5
    Thurston | 94 | 1
    Kitsap | 138 | 1
    Grant | 141 | 2
    Island | 157 | 8
    Franklin | 187 | 4
    Skagit | 238 | 8
    Clark | 266 | 15
    Whatcom | 275 | 26
    Spokane | 302 | 15
    Benton | 314 | 34
    Yakima | 771 | 36
    Pierce | 1,109 | 32
    Snohomish | 2,101 | 94
    King | 5,135 | 346

  • Jay

    As a resident in Eastern Washington, yes it is largely rural, and yes some of these hospitals will disappear due to Gov. Inslee’s ban on elective surgery. The article is from the Spokesmen Review out of Spokane, so just take it with a grain of salt, many of us call it the “Socialist Review” for many reasons.
    Most of these hospitals on the east-side are level 4 or 5, the lowest trauma care levels. They are there to stabilize you for transport. If it is something serious, like a heart attack or cancer, you will have to get a helicopter (we call it Life-Flight) over to Spokane or Bellevue.

    On the lighter side- I have been to Garfield County and there are more livestock than there are people. You do not have to worry about six foot distancing there, try six mile distancing, that is their spacing!


  • Cotour

    I think elective surgery in these conditions, a declared national emergency, will not be able to be covered by any insurance when you think about it. What if someone has a surgery and happens to contract Covid? I do not think that there is any liability insurance for this situation.

    (Jay: Any Squatch story’s)

  • Jay

    Yes I do have many stories, but all the sightings are linked to one individual. This local individual has been seen many times with his shirt off and that is when the stories in the paper/radio appear. He is not Bigfoot, just hairy. There is usually a disclaimer on the radio whenever sightings occur.
    I saw the guy who is “Bigfoot” a few months ago and he is now going bald. Bigfoot will now blind you. The legend continues.


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