Colorado has relatively few physicians and hospital beds per capita to handle a surge in COVID-19 patients, a new analysis has found.
QuoteWizard, an insurance price comparison company, analyzed data from the Kaiser Family Foundation about the number of beds and physicians per 1,000 residents in each state. While the physician data were current as of March 2020, the hospital bed metrics were from 2018 and do not reflect increases in capacity through alternate care facilities set up to receive discharged patients at the Colorado Convention Center and Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex.
Colorado ranked 45th in capacity, with 2.52 physicians and 1.92 beds per 1,000 residents. Utah had the lowest capacity, while West Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania ranked the highest.
“If there are too many total cases in a short period of time, it can overwhelm health care capacity to treat people for COVID-19,” wrote QuoteWizard. “The goal of flattening the curve is to reduce the number of new cases over a longer period of time. This flat curve allows for enough healthcare capacity to treat new cases of COVID-19.”
Colorado's death rate among hospitalized COVID-19 patients fell to 11% in May from 15% in March, a panel of hospital chief medical officers reported Tuesday. In addition, fewer of those hospitalized are being put on ventilators. Reportedly, the improvement was because of medical professionals’ increased knowledge of how to care for those with the disease.