Pharmacists can meet patients’ needs, unburden system

The coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects on the country as citizens adapt to social distancing recommendations from public health officials and face financial uncertainty as businesses are forced to close their doors. The national dialogue has been centered around flattening the curve of infection rates.

Experts recognize that the most detrimental impact of the disease will come if the health care system becomes overwhelmed, and patients who are ill must be turned away. A recent report from Kaiser Health News suggests that as a result of layoffs, state Medicaid programs will become the “default insurance plan for many of the newly unemployed.”

According to The Dispatch, nearly 470,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks.

This spike in unemployment is expected to result in an unparalleled and rapid increase in the number of Medicaid beneficiaries in the state of Ohio. As analysts predict that Ohio is within two weeks of facing the peak of healthcare resources needed, leaders are looking for opportunities to optimize the current health care workforce and identify innovations to ensure Ohio’s health care system is staffed at a capacity that can treat the thousands who are expected to become ill.

Click here to read more of this Columbus Dispatch article by E. Michael Murphy.

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