Arizona hospital CEO asks lawmakers to reconsider elective surgery ban as losses top $400,000 a day

The CEO of Yuma (Ariz.) Regional Medical Center said a ban on elective procedures in the state should include some flexibilities, as the county where the hospital is has a small number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to local news station KAWC.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey banned all elective medical procedures at Arizona hospitals March 19. The ban, coupled with higher supply costs for personal protective equipment, has put significant financial pressure on hospitals like Yuma Regional Medical Center. 

Robert Trenschel, DO, CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center, told KAWC the ban on elective services has cost the hospital $400,000 per day. Since Yuma County has 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases, he said some flexibility should be given under the ban. He said his 400-bed hospital is less than half full and ready to address a surge in COVID-19 patients.

"We could easily add elective procedures into our daily routine right now," Dr. Trenschel told KAWC. "And you know we're not looking for holdout from the state, we're not looking for free money, we just really want to be able to get back to work and make the decision for the hospital that we do every day in terms of providing safe care for our patients."

More articles on healthcare finance:
94 hospitals furloughing workers in response to COVID-19
Mayo Clinic projects $900M shortfall, implements cost-cutting measures
State-by-state breakdown of 354 rural hospitals at high risk of closing


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