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Post-COVID Recovery Starts with Surgeries

As the first wave of COVID-19 begins to show signs of subsiding in some parts of the US, and states release restrictions on elective procedures, hospital systems are working frantically to ramp back up operations that were abruptly shut down two months ago.

Key to financial recovery will be a measured resumption of surgeries, one in which health systems communicate convincingly to patients that surgeries (both hospital and ASC-based procedures) are safe. They must relay that they are adequately prepared in terms of testing for both patients and employees, that they are monitoring local infection rates and are flexing accordingly. Internally, it will be critical that they have adequate COVID-19 testing, surgical supplies, PPE and available clinical staff.

With these elements in place, hospital systems can begin to prioritize and schedule surgeries. As with all things COVID-related, much variability exists in the market. In some communities, resuming surgery volume will happen quickly; in others, it will less like flipping a switch and more like slowly turning a dial.

At iMethods, we recognize how critical it is for hospitals to recover from the financial devastation the pandemic has created. With many systems down to 50% capacity (or less), getting non-emergency surgery volumes back up will bring in much needed revenue.

Challenges remain: where to start? Because vast numbers of staff were furloughed, how quickly can they resume their former responsibilities? Which patient procedures should be prioritized due to medical necessity? Which patients are comfortable having surgery? Are there adequate accounting models in place to understand which cases bring the greatest ROI?

Answers to these questions will determine how successful – and timely – the recovery process will be for hospitals.

Contact Tripp Drawdy at to learn more about PeriOp Methods.