Hospital System Disregards Race-Based COVID-19 Treatment Policy

One of the country’s major hospital systems, SSM Health, is abandoning a policy that considers race more significant than diabetes, obesity, asthma, and hypertension when selecting treatment options. All hospital patients are “rated” as a technique of prioritizing treatment for those most in need. SSM Health downplayed the severity of a patient’s illness to emphasize race as a deciding factor.

Moreover, SSM Health utilizes a scoring system to provide limited doses of Regeneron, the antibody cocktail that credited President Donald Trump recover from COVID-19. A patient must score at least 20 points to be eligible for the medicine. In contrast, identifying as a “Non-White or Hispanic” race earns a patient seven points, regardless of age or underlying problems.

SSM Health notified the Washington Free Beacon that they had ceased utilizing a race-based scoring system for their patient’s physical and mental health ratings but continued to justify the practice. It was part of an attempt, according to SSM Health, to ensure that early risk calculators “appropriately included racial and gender criteria based on first outcomes.”

According to an internal letter acquired by the Free Beacon, Utah’s now-defunct SSM scoring system favored healthy minorities over white patients with several of the most prominent COVID-19 risk markers. Under the rubric, a 49-year-old Caucasian woman with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and asthma would only receive 19 points, narrowly missing the 20-point threshold for antibody treatment. A black lady with no underlying health concerns would be eligible with 22 points.

According to recent research of 4.3 million patients, black, Hispanic, and Asian patients are more likely than whites to be hospitalized for COVID-19, although they are less likely to die from it. According to other studies, when researchers adjust for comorbidities and poverty, racial discrepancies in COVID-19 outcomes vanish. “That’s incredible that they have to say it,” a lawyer for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said.