Healthcare Disparity (03:29)
In 2021, LA County and USC Medical Center sees more Covid patients than any other area hospitals. The epidemic highlights racial and income disparities in the healthcare system, with several safety net facilities shutting down. Over 70 million Americans use Medicaid, while 30 million go without insurance.
Erlanger Hospital (09:17)
Chattanooga’s safety net hospital is obligated to accept all patients. Facing closure in 2012, it focuses on gaining profits by expanding and running an advertisement campaign. Clinica Medicos serves patients from disenfranchised populations. Founder Dr. Kelly Rodney Arnold discusses Erlanger’s abandonment of their mission.
Failure to Compete (04:34)
In 2019, Erlanger experiences financial problems and has a shortage of rooms and nurses; emergency room patients suffer and sometimes die. Staff write a letter to the board, bringing in new leadership; improvements are made, but losses still occur.
Rise of Hospital Companies (08:04)
The multi-trillion-dollar healthcare industry begins in Nashville, with the 1968 instruction of Medicare and Medicaid. The city is now home to 400 companies, including the largest profit clinics. Safety net hospitals suffer financially, losing paying customers to competitors.
Pandemic Highlights Economic Inequalities (10:09)
In 2019, Erlanger loses $13 million as its competitors profit. Hospital companies benefit from safety net facilities, accepting low income and uninsured patients. Since 1980, non-profits have relied on supplemental funding, but Covid worsens income disparities. Erlanger partially closes and faces sale to a private equity group.
Prospect Medical Holdings (10:57)
In Rhode Island, Prospect Medical takes over two safety net hospitals. It lays off staff, restricts supplies, and violates regulations while paying millions in dividends to investors; unions campaign against further ownership. In Connecticut, the Waterbury Hospital CEO dismisses concerns about Covid patients receiving subpar care.
Erlanger's Fate and Healthcare's Racial Divide (05:18)
The opposition to Erlanger’s sale is strong, but legislative change is required for it to stay open long-term; Covid relief funds have mitigated 2019 losses. Some states are expanding Medicaid, but it pays less and is used more by people of color.
Credits: The Healthcare Divide (01:01)
Credits: The Healthcare Divide
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