FourFour2 has obtained a new set of numbers that indicate that while there were more than 10 million visits to the five hospitals in the Metro Atlanta area in September and October, those numbers were dwarfed by the many thousands of patients who received emergency room visits and dialysis.
The numbers, released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, indicate that the number of emergency room patients per day in the metro area in October was more than double the number received in September.
“It’s hard to overstate how important dialysis is for the recovery of people who have had kidney failure,” said Dr. Brian Salsberg, the chief medical officer of FourFour 2, which is a news service based in Philadelphia.
Salsberg said dialysis can be lifesaving when patients need it the most and he is confident that the numbers will show that dialysis patients were receiving emergency room care at a higher rate than other groups.
FourFour 2 has already reported that the hospital system is underfunded in its efforts to treat the coronavirus, which has cost it billions of dollars in health care reimbursements and other costs.
In addition to the pandemics and emergency room visitation, the data also show that the vast majority of patients were admitted to hospitals and that the total number of dialysis admissions and dialostics per day was the same as in September but the number was significantly higher in the city of Atlanta, which had a total of 7,400 dialysis beds per day compared to 3,400 for the rest of the metro region.
The data also showed that while the number hospitalized in the region declined slightly, it was still well above the national average.
The number of people in the nation with serious coronaviruses declined by more than one-third, from 8.2 million in November to 6.3 million in December.
Three states that reported higher than average numbers of patients in their state hospitals had fewer dialysis visits than the national rate: New York, California and Massachusetts.
At the same time, the number in Atlanta decreased by just over half a million dialysis operations per day, from 9,500 in November, to 7,100 in December, a decline of nearly 70,000.
Two other states reported a lower rate of dialystics per person in their hospitals, but not by much.
California reported a rate of 3,100 dialysis ops per person, while New Mexico reported a 3,200 dialysis op per person.
But FourFour did not release any data on the number and type of dialysis patients received in the five emergency room hospitals that had the highest numbers of dialies.
When asked by the Atlanta Journal Constitution whether he believes that patients were being treated with dialysis at a much higher rate in the metropolitan area, Salsburg said he does not.
He said the data does not mean dialysis was not effective, and that dialysis is not the only tool that can help patients recover.
Even so, Salberg said, the numbers should be of great concern for health care providers in the area because dialysis provides a critical first step in the recovery process.
And because dialysics are an effective treatment for the condition of dialorectomy, patients who do not have a dialysis center may not get the same level of treatment as patients who have dialysis centers, he said.
“This is not about the numbers,” Salsingberg said.
“This is about the level of care that is provided to people who are sick, especially for the patients who are at risk of death.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the pandemaker has killed more than 2.7 million people worldwide and is expected to continue to kill more in the months and years ahead.