During the COVID pandemic, the federal government gave out money to help some programs lower the heavier burden of COVID on underserved communities. The Provider Relief Fund offered $175 billion, and the COVID-19 Uninsured Fund offered $20 billion to treat everyone who got COVID. This included covering the costs of testing, vaccinating, and treating people without health insurance. This aid is about to end.
Although hospitalizations due to COVID are going down, safety-net providers face huge unmet needs from poor and uninsured patients who delayed getting care during the pandemic. In addition, ending federal support will lead hospitals and other care providers of underserved communities to see patients with later stages of bad disease. This problem will be worse in states without plans to increase Medicaid coverage. Loss of this money will impact hospital ability to recruit and retain clinical staff.
During the pandemic, people with diabetes were mostly affected by COVID. There has also been an increase in the number diagnosed with the condition. With the removal of a financial safety net, hospitals and other care providers will likely see more patients with uncontrolled diabetes and serious complications such as foot ulceration. In 2022, this is unacceptable.
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