5 Takeaways from Becker’s Webinar on Recovery of Surgical Services Post-COVID-19
To protect staff and patients from contracting coronavirus, healthcare organizations have been forced to postpone elective surgeries. The interruption of surgical services impacts patients whose needs go unmet and hospitals that rely on surgery revenue to keep their organizations running.
If you missed it – or if you need a recap! – Becker’s Healthcare hosted a webinar to consider the lasting effects and trends that will result from loss of surgical services.
Here are 5 main takeaways from the webinar:
#1 Surgeries typically contribute 60% of a high-performing hospital’s revenue. Meanwhile, the U.S. has experienced a 70% reduction in elective surgery volume. Nationwide, hospitals have lost an estimated $7.8 billion to $11.6 billion in operating income from postponed surgeries.
#2 Most revenue can be recouped, but here are some factors to consider:
- As unemployment skyrocketed, your patients may have lost income or their insurance coverage, affecting their ability to take on surgical expenses.
- Patients who are still working may have used up their leave time and will be unable to take time off.
- Surgeons will need time to rebuild their case volumes after not seeing patients during the crisis.
#3 Experts predict an accelerated shift toward Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). Patients may be more comfortable going to a surgery-only facility over a traditional hospital that is also treating sick patients. Additionally, telehealth will play a larger role in pre-op and post-op care.
#4 Apply for federal funding through the CARES Act. The government is providing $175 billion to cover lost revenue and increased expenses healthcare providers have incurred during the outbreak. Coverage includes costs from things like increased staff, extra PPE and testing supplies, building temporary structures or expanding healthcare facilities.
#5 You can act now to create a strategy to recoup losses. Create a recovery council and employ the “6 P’s” framework:
- Plan: Determine your goals for recovery and your plan to get there.
- Policies: Know the new policies and regulations for your practice and state.
- Process: It’s a new environment. You’ll need new processes in place to determine when and how to test patients and staff for coronavirus, how to prioritize backlogged cases, and which staffing models will support your facility best.
- Place: Set new standards for protection. For instance, where will patients’ families be allowed to stay?
- Patient: Engage with your patients and communicate your new plan and processes to them. Patients are more informed than ever and want to play a bigger role in their healthcare decisions.