Hospitals sustained huge financial losses from lack of elective surgeries

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Studies by the American College of Surgeons found that the postponement of elective surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic took away a large portion of hospitals' income and disrupted surgical care.

These findings were from two studies by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, according to an Oct. 23 press release.

One study found that even a two-month suspension of surgical procedures cost a single university healthcare system 42 percent of its net revenue for five months. Nationwide, hospitals experienced a $1.53 billion loss from just the lack of elective pediatric procedures. Across three Penn Medicine hospitals, $99 million of net revenue was lost from all surgical departments in the first wave.

Delays in surgical care can also create negative effects on patients' medical conditions, which can shorten their lives, the studies found.

Daniel Mazzaferro, MD, is a plastic surgery resident at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He recommends making long-term preparations, like increasing hospital bed and resource capacity by sending the overflow of patients to other patient care units and triaging elective operations using ambulatory surgery center guidelines.

Read more here.

 

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