This week, I looked at the care of diverse populations within Knox. Specifically, I focused on the factors that influence the patients’ access to care and how they receive care.
In a previous post, I talked about the demographics of Knox; but I wanted to mention these demographics briefly because they explain the types of patients found within Knox.
99.2% of Knox’s population is white; the other 0.8% is reported at “other.” My family is Afghani-American and my cousins are West African-American. A total of 8 of us who have an ethnicity/race other than Caucasian make up a decent percent within that 0.8% “other” race category.
Figure 13 breaks down types of insurance by age group. The majority of people are covered by employer-paid insurance. The 65+ age group is covered my Medicare almost entirely.
The median age of Knox is 40.5, but when broken down to age categories, the majority of the residents here are middle-aged with children. There is a relatively low number of those in their 20s, about 13% and even lower are senior citizens (9%).
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges in regards to providing care to older patients. Since COVID-19 poses an inherently greater risk to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, there is rightful caution when leaving the home. The CDC reported excess deaths associated, but not caused by, COVID-19.
In wanting to avoid an increase risk of exposure to the virus, people are not going to the hospital for things they normally would in hopes to decrease possible exposure. I think this is a tricky scenario because there is absolutely a greater probability of coming in contact when one goes into public places, especially one where sick people go to when they are not feeling well (hospitals, doctors offices etc.)
However, at a certain point there will be more harm done by staying at home because one may need medical treatment. It comes down to a cost-benefit analysis: is the increased risk of COVID-19 worth getting medical care for another illness.
Hospitals in the area
- Sunnyview Hospital And Rehabilitation Center, located in Schenectady NY. They are privately owned and provide acute care. This hospital does not provide emergency services.
- St. Peters Hospital, located in Albany NY. They are voluntary-non profit Church owned that provides both acute care and emergency services.
- Ellis Hospital is in Schenectady and provides both acute care and emergency services.
- Cobleskill Regional Hospital is in Cobelskill NY and emergency and acute services.
- Albany VA Medical Center in Albany provides acute care and has a veteran administration. It is a
- Albany Memorial Hospital offers both emergency and acute treatment.
- Albany Medial Center Hospital is located in Albany and provides emergency and acute care.
Between these seven options of hospitals, one has a fair amount of flexibility when choosing a facility best for themselves (or a loved one). This is, of course, dependent on insurance coverage and ability to get to the hospitals. However, given one can overcome these two barriers, the hospitals have a good ability to care for a diverse array of patients.