Medical procedures deemed “elective” have been postponed during the pandemic in order to keep healthcare facilities and resources available to treat COVID-19 patients and to minimize the spread of the illness to otherwise healthy people.
While necessary in light of the pandemic, these postponements have had negative consequences for individuals who need surgery to address their health issues, both when the illness is personal or work-related. Further, for many hospitals these procedures provide the bulk of the compensated care that they provide. As a result, they are experiencing severe cash flow issues and in some cases are laying off healthcare workers.
Resuming elective procedures will be challenging in a world where no vaccine and limited available testing for COVID-19 exists. This article outlines the challenges faced by hospitals and the “new normal” that will exist for patients and their caregivers as scheduling of elective procedures resumes.