Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Anesthesia Finances in the Age of COVID-19 dealt specifically with the immediate financial implications of various levels of anesthesia support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on facility surgical revenue during the recovery from this crisis. In our past examples, surgical case volume and anesthesia professional fee revenues were down 80% due to cancellation of elective operative and diagnostic procedures. In many instances, anesthesia groups have been asked to reduce their subsidy, or change the current support arrangement, while maintaining enough healthy staff to cover all service lines within the hospital. That has left many groups unable to afford to keep their full “pre COVID-19” staffing levels. This is a potential concern for healthcare leaders who believe that once the COVID-19 crisis begins to abate, patients will be flocking back to the facilities for surgery resulting in an almost immediate return of volume and revenue.
In Part 4 of our series, we will now consider the likely New Normal in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 and explore a number of reasons why that sudden surge in volume and revenue may not materialize in the manner anticipated.