Editorial: Our response to COVID is about the overall stability of our healthcare system | Editorial
As of September 10, there were issues with ventilators, gloves, gowns, surgical masks, lab reagents, collection tubes and more. Much of this disruption was due to spikes in demand, but some products were in short supply due to manufacturing compliance issues or shortages / shutdowns of various parts and accessories.
No matter what prompted these products to be on the FDA list, every Virginian should recognize that vaccines do more than protect us from COVID. They are also a safeguard for supply chains that provide essential resources for any procedure in a doctor’s office or hospital operating room.
And finally, we need to be wary of how COVID affects overall healthcare costs. This month, the American Academy of Actuaries released a briefing note on the drivers of change for 2022 health insurance premiums.
The paper explains that the uncertainty posed by the pandemic continues to affect how rates are calculated. As the waves of COVID transmission fluctuate in different parts of the country, hospital use also varies thereafter. The need for vaccine reminders, the increased use of telemedicine, and the difference between patients choosing to seek or delay care can also affect costs.
“There is evidence that some essential services have been postponed into 2020,” the file says. “This deferral of services means people with chronic illnesses could see their health deteriorate, resulting in higher future costs per limb. In addition, many preventive services such as vaccinations and cancer screenings were bypassed, which could lead to an increase in the severity of future illnesses or conditions in years to come. “