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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Envision Healthcare, a Nashville-based healthcare staffing company owned by KKR, is considering a bankruptcy filing, per Bloomberg. A source says no such decision is imminent, as Envision continues to restructure its $7.5 billion debt-load (it recently exchanged $725 million of its $1.75 billion in unsecured notes).

Why it matters: This is a high-profile example of the cash-crunch felt by all sorts of medical groups, due to the sharp drops in everything from elective surgeries to ER visits to preventative care appointments.

  • It also comes after Envision, which has become synonymous with controversial billing tactics, received an undisclosed amount of federal bailout money, via a provision of the CARES Act.
  • History: KKR took Envision private in 2018 for $9.9 billion, including assumed debt, after it recorded a $228 million loss in 2017 on $7.8 billion in revenue.

The bottom line: "Elective surgeries that Envision provides are among the most lucrative medical procedures, while intensive care, which COVID-19 patients require, is far more expensive. Envision’s business of staffing emergency rooms has also suffered because it gets compensated per visit rather than for the time patients spent there. As a result, the typical two-week period that many COVID-19 patients spend in intensive care is a further drag on Envision’s revenue." — Reuters

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Health

Fauci recommends eye protection to prevent contracting coronavirus

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci during a June Senate hearing in Washington, DC. Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told ABC News in an Instagram live discussing the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday evening, "If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it."

Why it matters: Eye protection is not currently included in formal guidance on COVID-19. The CDC only advises that health care workers use eye protection "in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission."

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Jul 30, 2020 - Health

The deep decline in vaccine sales

GSK's Twinrix vaccine. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Global stay-at-home orders stemming from the coronavirus pandemic — especially those in the U.S. — have led to steep sales declines in routine vaccinations.

The big picture: Although more people are getting their vaccines now, "there remains some way to go to get back to pre-COVID levels for adult vaccinations," GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley said on an investor call Wednesday.