About 260 health systems representing 990 major hospitals responded to the March 16-20 survey by Premier Inc., a group purchasing organization that negotiates with suppliers for discounts. While the survey provides a fresh picture of nationwide hospital operations, the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases has soared tenfold since the survey began ― from fewer than 5,000 to more than 55,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Absent additional interventions from the government or private sector, we don’t foresee the current status quo changing,” said Soumi Saha, senior director of advocacy for Premier. “And the current status quo is not acceptable.”
Saha said the national stockpile “is intended to be a band-aid, not a long-term solution.” Premier called on the Trump administration to either further implement the Defense Production Act to ramp up domestic manufacturing or provide more clear direction on which medical supplies are needed and streamline distribution. FEMA announced Tuesday it did not use the Defense Production Act for test kits after previously stating it would.