Coronavirus spike won't end elective surgeries, Milwaukee hospital execs say

Healthcare executives in the Milwaukee area say they plan to continue offering elective care even if COVID-19 hospitalizations spike, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal

Many public health experts expect a second wave of COVID-19 infections to hit by the end of the year. But the healthcare executives said that hospitals won't need to implement strict elective care cancellation procedures as they did in March and April because more is known about the virus. 

"We know COVID now," Jeff Bahr, MD, chief Aurora Medical Group officer for Advocate Aurora Health, told the Business Journal. "I accept that there might be another peak. The name of the game right now is to be able to continue to serve patients and continue despite another bump or spike."

Dr. Bahr added that Advocate Aurora Health executives plan to continue "with minimal interruption" to elective surgical procedures. 

Spokespeople for ProHealth Care, Froedtert Health, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Wisconsin also told the Business Journal that their organizations plan to continue some or all elective surgeries even if there is a second surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO John Raymond Sr., MD, told the Business Journal that "Even with a second wave or surge of COVID-19 cases, I do not believe that we will need to return to the stringent restrictions that were imposed on elective procedures and routine clinical care in March and April of this year."

ProHealth Care and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin officials said that they plan to offer elective care amid  a spike, but the amount of that care will depend on several factors, including whether there's enough protective gear for staff. 

Health systems across the U.S. canceled elective procedures in mid-March in an effort to prepare for a spike in COVID-19 cases. As a result of the cancellations of the more lucrative services, health systems saw steep revenue drops. Throughout the last month, hospitals have started to resume elective services.  


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