Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Archive July 2020 XXI, No. 7

Profiting During the Pandemic

Find ways to cut costs and increase revenues during this uncertain time.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Editor-in-Chief


LET'S MAKE A DEAL Work with vendor reps to find fair and sustainable price points for supplies and equipment.

Earlier this year, Buffalo Surgery in Amherst, N.Y., Center was humming along as usual. More than 30 physicians packed its ORs and procedure rooms with 1,500 cases a month, creating a constant buzz of activity and filling the reserves with a steady stream of revenue. Life (and business) was good in Upstate New York.

And then poof, the cases were gone. Just like that.

"We were shut down essentially overnight when COVID-19 hit," says David Uba, MBA, the center's CEO. "It was a little unnerving."

The orthopedic-centric center lost 98% of its usual case volume over April and May when only emergent procedures were performed. Elective cases restarted in June, and the facility's surgeons began digging into a backlog of more than 4,000 postponed procedures, which allowed the center to reach full capacity by the end of the month.

"Our plan is to maintain 95% capacity and run the year out," says Mr. Uba. "We lost two-and-a-half months of revenue, and I don't think we're going to make it up."

Sound familiar? A month ago, you were probably thrilled (and exhausted from implementing new COVID-19 precautionary protocols) to reopen your ORs and ramp up case volumes. Now you're probably wondering how to ramp up revenues. It's going to take some creative thinking, honest conversations and, as if you need more of it, plenty of hard work.

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