How Florida hospitals are preparing for Hurricane Dorian

Florida hospitals are preparing to provide care and shelter in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian, a category 3 storm expected to bring 140 mph tropical storm winds to the state Sept. 3, according to CNBC.

All of the hospitals have backup generators in case of power outages. Universal Health Services said it is stocking up on food, water, linens, diesel fuel, medications and staff to prepare for the storm. The hospital operator will post updates on social media and its website. Over 3 percent of UHS' acute-care beds lie in the storm's path. 

HCA Healthcare, the nation's largest investor-owned hospital operator, also said it is stocking up on supplies and staff to ensure patients continue receiving care during and after the storm. About 12 percent of HCA's acute-care beds lie in the path of the storm.

Three hospitals have already closed and transferred patients to other facilities, according to The Sun Sentinel. West Palm Beach-based Good Samaritan Medical Center transferred 64 patients to Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Medical Center and St. Mary's Medical Center, also in West Palm Beach. Atlantis-based JFK Medical Center closed its doors to all visitors Sept. 2 but continues to accept ER to ER transfers. The hospital's two freestanding emergency departments have both closed. The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach is also closed, along with its clinics and veterans centers in Jupiter and Greenacres.

Hurricane Dorian will likely be costly for hospital networks. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas, Florida and Louisiana cost HCA about $140 million before insurance claims in 2017.

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