Elective procedure postponements will provide needed revenue for hospitals

Throughout March and April, hospitals across the US have been guided by the American College of Surgeons (ASC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to postpone elective procedures. These recommendations have been put in place to prevent exposure of medical staff and patients to COVID-19 and to allow the use of resources including masks, ventilators and beds for COVID-19 patients in critical condition.

Eric Chapman, Medical Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Volumes for many elective procedures, especially in orthopaedics, have been reduced by an estimated 70%, while knee replacements and colonoscopies have virtually stopped. This is going to reduce revenues necessary to maintain hospital operations”.

“As a result, hospitals are beginning to lay off medical staff during a time when healthcare workers are already overworked to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. It is counterintuitive that we are seeing a reduction in medical workforce when almost a million people in the US are infected with COVID-19.” 

Adding to the financial strain of reduced procedures is the added cost of buying more supplies and personal protection equipment (PPE) to prepare for the influx of COVID-19 patients entering intensive care units (ICU). Hospitals have gone from making millions of dollars per month to losing tens of millions.

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