Severe Shortage of Short Term Care Facilities for Released COVID Patients

Lack of acute care facilities for discharged Covid-19 patients

MEDFORD, Ore. — KOBI Hospital beds are running low as Covid-19 cases spike across Oregon.

But what happens if local hospitals meet capacity?

Providence Medford’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Kuhl says the hospital has been preparing for a potential surge since February.

He says they are constantly looking at their supplies and staffing to meet the demands of the community.

But an issue is where patients discharged from their hospitals can go for short-term care.

“We’ve always struggled with the number of skilled nursing facilities in our community and I know there’s been lots of conversations around how we may be able to get more staff locally to support opening up more beds,” said Dr. Jason Kuhl, Providence Medford chief medical officer.

Currently, Doctor Kuhl says they have about 10 to 15 patients at their Medford hospital who need to be placed in facilities offering acute care.

Without a place to go, he says they’re left at the hospital for sometimes weeks taking up available bed space.

It’s a problem the Asante Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Jamie Grebosky, is also dealing with.

He says local facilities providing that short term care have either been exposed to Covid-19 or have staffing issues, so they are unable to take discharged patients.

An Asante spokesperson says its hospitals are also prepared for a surge in patients and monitors its staffing on a daily basis.

//inserted by Sharon