Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

It occurred to me in the wee hours of the morning, when I couldn't sleep, that I have more to say.

I have columns to write and I have stories I believe readers need.

I say this because today I applied for another newspaper job and many friends would ask, "Why?"

There's more work to be done.

The week I was notified about the pending layoff, I was working on a structure for a potential enterprise package on what the pandemic has done to hospitals. Despite the popular narrative of hospitals falsely increasing COVID numbers to make more money, all hospitals have been damaged financially and about 200 are expected to close within the next  year -- mostly rural.

That's according to my health care expert friend Mark Taylor. I had called him and asked the question: What are we missing? Mark noted that hospitals across the country had stopped elective procedures, which on average are about 48 percent of total revenue. Add to that the average COVID patient is going to be a Medicare patient, with controlled payments that can't be adjusted for the level of insurance, treating the pandemic fits with a hospital's mission but not its budget. All hospitals are on pace to lose money this year. The only question is how much?

I envisioned this package working well both small and big newspapers, accompanied by a database, graphics and personal stories of patients, great photography and podcasts.

Sadly that's stories not going to get told -- unless someone hires me to do it of course. (Or unless someone -- wisely -- steals the idea after reading this blog.)

And I cannot get out of the habit of forming at least one column idea a week in my head. I think I might have to add a column to the blog every Sunday because getting the ideas onto a screen helps make more room in my noggin for the next ideas.

There's so much more work to be done.

1 comment: