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Regular Hospital Business On The Rise As COVID Cases Recede

Advocate Bromenn Hospital
Emma Shores
Federal pandemic aid is reimbursing the Carle Health system with only about 60% of lost revenue.

Business is coming back to hospitals in central Illinois, but it's not all the way back.

Carle BroMenn Medical Center President Colleen Kannaday said there was a 20% overall drop at the start of the pandemic and even more in areas like elective surgeries. She said the drop was 30% to 40% in physician group practices.

"The emergency department has come back strong actually over the last probably four to six weeks. In our outpatient activity as well as the physician office, we're still down slightly," said Kannaday.

In-patient activity did not drop as much as other areas of Carle BroMenn care because there were the usual hospitalizations in addition to COVID-19 patients.

Kannaday said the federal government's various relief packages have helped the Carle Health system recover about 60% of lost revenue, adding she does not know how long COVID long-haulers will need extra medical help.

But Carle BroMenn is seeing some of those patients, too.

"There are clinics being set up that are focused on long-haul symptoms. There are certainly a number that have long-term breathing issues. There are a number that have experienced cardiac issues. Those are two of the most pressing," said Kannaday.

Kannaday said she's also concerned about people who delayed diagnostic screenings during the height of the pandemic who may face more difficult outcomes because of late detection of medical issues that need treatment.

A few weeks ago, Carle BroMenn staff had a vaccination rate of about 70%. Kannaday said it’s slightly higher now.

She said people are still getting sick with COVID and she urges everyone to understand the science behind vaccinations. Kannaday said the way for society to get back to normal is to get more people vaccinated.

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