Humongous Medical Expenses a concern of COVID-19 in US, say experts


The burden on healthcare system, in terms of expenses and utilization of resources is one of the concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, says a recent study carried out by Public Health Informatics, Computational, and Operations Research team at Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University of New York along with Infectious Disease Clinical Outcomes Research Unit, at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. The study published on April 23 is available for access in the journal Health Affairs. COVID-19 is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars as a cumulative of direct medical expenses and requirement of additional hospital resources than what is available.

Efforts to Reduce Spread of COVID-19 coronavirus to curb Cost Substantially

As per findings of the study, the estimated expenses can be dramatically reduced if the spread of COVID- 19 coronavirus can be lessened to different degrees. For the study part, the team developed a computer simulation model of the entire USA. Using the simulation model, the team could simulate the impact if different proportions of the population gets infected with COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to the model, each infected individual would develop different symptoms over a period of time, and would visit a medical facility depending on the severity of the symptoms. Besides, the resources each patient would require such as medication, medical personnel time, hospital beds, and ventilators would depend on the health condition of each patient. Thereafter, the model tracks resources used, associated costs, and outcomes of each patient.

For example, if 20 percent of the population gets infected with COID-19 coronavirus, this would amount to 11.2 million hospitalizations and 1.6 million units of ventilators used. Cost-wise, this would sum up to an average US4 163.4 billion for direct medical costs over the course of the infection.

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